As the campaign against illegal drugs intensifies, drug smugglers are adopting new ways to transport their illegal goods into Hong Kong, and the latest is to disguise them as canned luncheon meat.
Before they used “drug mules” or people who either carry the drugs in luggage or swallow them in plastic or rubber containers to get past through customs checkpoints undetected.
But since numerous attempts using this method have been foiled by airport authorities, crime syndicates are trying new ways to carry on the trade, such as by hiding the contraband in food and other daily necessities as well as in musical instruments, Tang Yi-hoi, deputy commissioner of the Customs and Excise Department, told Apple Daily.
They now also tend to use several people at a time in the form of a relay to carry the drugs to their destination, Tang said.
Last month customs officials seized 1.5 kilograms of cocaine hidden in five cans of luncheon meat that belonged to a foreign woman who arrived in Hong Kong from Brazil by way of Dubai.
The drug haul was estimated to be worth HK$1.6 million.
According to data from the department, 105 drug trafficking cases were intercepted in the first two months of the year, down from 126 in the same period in 2015.
However, the volume of drugs seized rose to 222 kilograms from 176kg a year ago, with that of cocaine jumping 2.5 times.
Tang said most of the cocaine brought into Hong Kong was meant to be transported to mainland China and neighboring countries, Headline Daily reported.
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