Hong Kong police found 52kg of cocaine worth HK$43 million inside a car in Fanling on Saturday and arrested two local men in a crackdown on drug smugglers ahead of the four-day Easter holiday.
Acting on intelligence, the narcotics bureau launched an investigation in February and had targeted the seven-seater vehicle parked in an outdoor car park in Luen Fu Street.
At around 4pm on Saturday officers tailed two men to the car park and intercepted them as they were about to get inside.
Superintendent Ng Wing-sze said the men were carrying 2kg of cocaine and the rest was in four paper cartons in the vehicle.
“We believe this syndicate arranged to import drugs from all over the world, including South America and Southeast Asia, to Hong Kong for local distribution during the Easter holidays,” Ng said. “Some will be stored in Hong Kong for further arrangement.”
The men – surnamed Lee, 47, and Ng, 51, were arrested for trafficking dangerous drugs.
“We believe we have successfully intercepted the drugs coming into Hong Kong,” Ng said.
The force said it would look into how the cocaine entered the city and if there were any other suspects at large.
In January, police raided a flat in Fanling and seized 2kg of cocaine and about 1.5kg of crack cocaine worth HK$5 million. Three Hongkongers were arrested.
Cocaine seizures by police and customs officers in 2016 surged 60 per cent from a year earlier to 828.7kg. Some 520kg of cocaine was seized in 2015 and 234kg in 2014.
Between November 23 and December 16, customs officers at Hong Kong International Airport caught four travellers in four separate cases smuggling nearly 20kg of cocaine in total worth an estimated HK$22.5 million. All four arrived from Brazil via Ethiopia.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Police seize 52kg of cocaine set for Easter distribution