Hong Kong police look for links between 3 seizures of cocaine after HK$15 million of drug found near shoreline at weekend

Hong Kong police look for links between 3 seizures of cocaine after HK$15 million of drug found near shoreline at weekend

Parcels containing HK$15 million (US$1.9 million) worth of cocaine are suspected to have washed ashore in Hong Kong, sparking a police investigation into whether the find was linked to similar discoveries earlier this month.

The latest find was made on Sunday afternoon after a group of hikers spotted a brick-shaped package with “VIP” printed on it at Nam She Wan, a rocky coastal area on the eastern side of the city known as the “Thousand Streams Coast”.

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Slabs of the drug were found at Nam She Wan on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Handout

A police source said the hikers thought the parcel appeared suspicious, opened it and found white powder inside.

The source added the group searched the surrounding area and found 12 similar parcels, all marked with the same lettering.

One of the hikers, 65, attempted to call police at around 2.20pm, but failed because of poor reception.

The source said the hikers collected six of the packages and planned to take them to Sai Kung Police Station.

Police later managed to contact the group and took them to the station to get details. Officers later retrieved the seven packages left at the scene.

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Slabs of seized cocaine recovered by police from the waters off Hong Kong earlier this month. Photo: Handout

Investigators said it was thought the A4-sized packages contained a total of 15kg (33lbs) of cocaine, with an estimated street value of HK$15 million.

A force spokesman said the narcotics bureau had taken over the investigation.

A second source said the latest parcels had similar packaging to those discovered in the earlier cases this month where cocaine was found to have been washed ashore.

Second cocaine haul worth HK$8 million found in sea off Hong Kong beach

The insider said it was too early to say if the hauls were linked, but the waterproof wrapping used suggested potential connections.

But he added it was possible that traffickers dumped the parcels at sea as they evaded authorities.

The source said tracing the shipments through analysis of tide patterns would be difficult.

The latest seizure was the third of cocaine that could have drifted ashore in the space of a few weeks.

An HK$8 million haul of suspected cocaine was discovered floating off Lido Beach in the Ting Kau section of Tsuen Wan on April 9.

Eight slabs of suspected contraband were found inside a plastic container, floating about 10 metres (33 feet) offshore.

Hong Kong police seize HK$19 million in cocaine that washed up on beach

All the packages were sealed in more than 10 black vacuum waterproof bags.

Packages of cocaine worth HK$19 million were found near the shore and a shark prevention net at Chung Hom Kok Beach in Stanley in Southern district on April 4.

Police cordoned off the beach and called in bomb disposal experts because the parcels bore labels that read “TNT” – which could mean the explosive chemical compound trinitrotoluene.

But an examination by officers of the explosive ordnance disposal bureau revealed the packages contained 19 slabs of what appeared to be cocaine.

Provisional figures show seizures of the five major illegal drugs – cocaine, cannabis, methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine – rose by 68 per cent to almost 13.3 tonnes (14.6 tons) last year, up from 7.9 tonnes in 2022.

The amount of cocaine seized by police and customs in 2023 increased by 55.8 per cent to 3.5 tonnes, compared with the 2.27 tonnes kept off the streets the year before.

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