HongKong

4 Hong Kong men arrested at Bangkok airport after 14kg heroin found in suitcase



Thai police have arrested four men at Bangkok’s airport who were allegedly carrying a suitcase containing 40 slabs of heroin estimated to be worth HK$10 million (US$1.3 million), said to be bound for Hong Kong

Acting on a tip-off, local police launched a joint investigation with their Hong Kong counterparts to track two men, Leung Wai-kit and Chun He-chow, who had travelled to the Southeast Asian country last week, a Thai official told media in Bangkok on Monday.

The Hongkongers were suspected of having travelled to Thailand to procure illegal drugs and smuggle them back to the city with the help of accomplices.

At around 7pm on Sunday, Leung and Chun arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport allegedly carrying the suitcase they intended to hand over to two other Hong Kong men.

Officers who had been tracking the suspects then ambushed the group and arrested the four on the spot.

According to Thai police, the suitcase contained 40 slabs of heroin, weighing 14kg (30.8lbs).

The estimated street value of the narcotics would have been HK$10 million if they had reached Hong Kong, the Post has learned.

Hong Kong police revealed last week that officers had arrested 23 people in 18 cases earlier this year that involved the smuggling of illegal drugs into the city using commercial flights.

Police said on Thursday that their investigations had revealed drug-trafficking syndicates were recruiting people online with the promise of quick cash.

“The groups arrange for these recruits to go to other countries as tourists, receive the illegal drugs, then bring them back to Hong Kong,” the force said.

In addition to those arrested by police, customs officers at Hong Kong airport arrested 48 passengers on suspicion of smuggling 460kg of illegal drugs in the first five months of this year.

Customs officers seized 279kg of illegal drugs from 84 air passengers in 2023, compared with 17kg found on 15 arrivals the previous year. No drugs were found on passengers in 2021, when strict travel restrictions reduced arrivals to a trickle.

A source said the suspects included local residents and visitors from overseas locations such as the United States, the Middle East, Europe and Thailand.

“The suspects included people saddled with debts and those who were allegedly offered monetary rewards and free air travel to engage in drug trafficking activities,” the insider said.

He said illegal drugs seized from those who travelled from Thailand included cannabis and heroin.

Customs officials have cautioned residents, especially young people, against accepting cash and free air travel from drug-trafficking syndicates.

Seizures of five major illegal drugs by police and customs rose 27 per cent to 4,749kg between January and May this year, up from 3,729kg over the same period last year.



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