The government has issued warnings regarding items and products that should not be brought through the airport, let alone be smuggled into the country, as there are already various cases through which contraband items such as illegal drugs are being distributed in the city and have been unfortunately linked to activities by migrant workers in the country.
Other drug-related cases have resulted to other petty crimes such as theft for which the accused has been sentenced to imprisonment.
Filipino Charged over Smuggling Banned Substances into HK
Recently, a 27-year old Filipino who works as a bartender in the city and possesses an identity card, was charged at the Kowloon City Court of drug trafficking after he was allegedly discovered to possess 4.2 kilograms of suspected ketamine disguised as snack packs in his luggage when he arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport on January 24, as shared in a report by the Sun.
As per the Customs and Excise Department, the contraband confiscated was estimated to have a market value worth HKD 2 million.
The suspect, identified as Richard Marc A. Benoza, was charged before Magistrate Woo Huey-fang on Saturday (January 26).
Benoza’s lawyer applied for cash bail of HKD 2,000, but was denied by Magistrate Woo. The defendant was kept by authorities in custody, and no plea was taken by the defendant.
During customs’ clearance, officers discovered 17 packets of suspected ketamine, which is now associated in date-rape cases in clubs, disguised as snacks inside Benoza’s luggage. After the discovery, he was then immediately arrested by authorities.
Meanwhile, also on January 24, a Filipina domestic helper, identified as Caitlin Baybayan appeared before court on another drug trafficking case. Baybayan was arrested in November after receiving a delivery of an air parcel which supposedly contained toys, but was found to be illegal drugs.
Drug trafficking is considered as a serious offence here in Hong Kong which can be bestowed a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to HKD 5 million.
Also, the government has called onto the public to report any suspicious activities which could be related to drug trafficking to Customs’ 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or through its dedicated e-mail account.