Three young Hongkongers were arrested in Thailand for trying to smuggle 12.3 kilograms of cocaine worth about HK$11 million (US$1.41 million).
Because the amount of drugs they were carrying exceeds 100 grams, the suspects – a 19-year-old woman surnamed Fong, a 22-year-old woman surnamed Tung and a 24-year-old man surnamed Yau – could face a jail term of 20 years to life, or even the death penalty, based on Thailand’s stringent laws against drugs, Sing Tao Daily reported.
Thailand and Hong Kong have no extradition treaty.
Thai authorities were looking for a woman who had allegedly paid them HK$8,000 each to transport the drugs from Brazil.
Based on a tip from Hong Kong authorities a day earlier, Thai customs and anti-narcotics agents intercepted the trio at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday.
They were arrested after parcels of cocaine were found in secret compartments of their suitcases.
Hong Kong’s Immigration Department said it has asked Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong SAR and the Chinese Embassy in Thailand to give assistance to the suspects upon the request of their families.
Sources said Tung, a bar waitress in Hong Kong, was hired by a woman, known as Ming Jie, to transport the illegal drugs from Brazil to Bangkok.
Tung then recruited Fong and Yau online to join her in the operation.
Ming Jie, who is said to be working for a drug syndicate, allegedly paid the three HK$8,000 each for the job, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The woman was supposed to wait for them at a hotel in downtown Bangkok to receive the cargo, but she was nowhere to be found when police officers arrived at the place and could have returned to Hong Kong, sources said.
Thai and Kong Kong authorities are working together to hunt her down.
Separately, a Hong Kong man, 18, was arrested and prosecuted in Osaka, Japan by local police last month after he was caught receiving a package from Hong Kong that contained 5 kilograms of methamphetamine, also known as “ice”, worth about HK$23 million, Sing Tao Daily said.
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