Hong Kong Customs Seizes Massive Cocaine Haul

Head of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau Hui Wai-ming holds the seized cocaine during a news conference in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 4, 2019. Photo: Kin Cheung / Associated Press
Head of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau Hui Wai-ming holds the seized cocaine during a news conference in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 4, 2019. Photo: Kin Cheung / Associated Press

HONG KONG — A haul of cocaine with an estimated market value of $13 million has been seized in Hong Kong, customs agents said Thursday.

The customs service in the semi-autonomy Chinese territory said one man was arrested in the operation Wednesday that netted 91 kilograms of the drug. The Customs Drug Investigation Bureau plans to hold a news conference later Thursday.

As a major Asian port city, Hong Kong is considered a key transit point for contraband from illegal drugs to endangered wildlife parts. Much of that is bound for mainland China or Southeast Asia where drug laws tend to be much stricter.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s large population of finance workers, lawyers and others in well-paid white collar sectors also provides a lucrative market for drugs including cocaine and marijuana.

Hong Kong’s past is steeped in the drug trade, having been founded as a British colony in 1842 as a result of the First Opium War.