HONG KONG: Hong Kong has made its largest seizure of methamphetamine after discovering a shipment from Mexico worth more than HK$1 billion ($130 million), authorities said on Saturday .
Customs officers found a record 1.8 tonnes of liquid methamphetamine hidden in cartons of coconut water en route to Australia.
The shipment, which officials said likely involved a massive international drug trafficking ring, comes as China’s financial hub sees a spike in drug seizures involving methamphetamine.
“We believe the liquid, high-purity meth came from South America. It was packaged there and shipped via a convoluted route to Hong Kong, to be sent to Australia,” Chief Superintendent Lee said. Ka-ming, head of the drug investigation. Hong Kong customs office.
The arrests have not yet taken place.
So far this year, Hong Kong has uncovered more than double the methamphetamine seized over the past year, with almost three tonnes confiscated by authorities.
The latest bust came days after law enforcement seized $5.9million worth of methamphetamine hidden in electrical transformers, which was also heading to Australia.
Hong Kong authorities have been alerted through intelligence exchanges with foreign law enforcement to the possibility of large shipments of liquid methamphetamine arriving in the city, customs official Fong Heung-wing told reporters.
“Coconut water (shipments) from Mexico is extremely rare…the last time was in 2016 and weighed only six kilograms,” Fong said, adding that the size of the shipment made her also suspicious.
The contraband, worth a total of around HK$1.1 billion ($140 million), was found among other goods in a cargo container and identified using X-rays on Sunday last.
An online search for the alleged recipient of the shipment, an Australian company, turned up empty, officials said.
The previous largest meth seizure in Hong Kong took place in April when officials discovered 700 kilograms of the drug hidden in industrial equipment from Mexico.