Customs officers make HK$125m ketamine seizure

Customs officers say they have seized HK$125 million worth of ketamine which arrived as sea cargo from Pakistan.

Officials said drugs from Pakistan usually arrived by air in the past, but traffickers have increasingly opted for sea routes since the pandemic disrupted border arrangements.

“To reduce the risk of interception by law enforcement, drug syndicates they adopt a strategy we call merry-go-round,” explained Lee Kam-wing, the head of customs’ drug investigation bureau said on Thursday.

“That means a large quantity of drugs was pushed out to the sea by sea cargo, which could allow syndicates to find time in finding buyers and changing the final destination while the drugs are still at the sea.”

The 220 kilogrammes of ketamine were hidden inside rolls of cotton yarn. The drug was discovered after customs boosted their screening of suspicious containers following a tip-off by overseas counterparts.

A 35-year-old woman in charge of a logistics firm was arrested over the haul.