Hong Kong seizes $140 million methamphetamine cache

HONG KONG (HPD) — Hong Kong customs have seized 1.8 metric tons (2 tons) of liquid methamphetamine in the city’s largest ever crackdown on the distribution of the substance, authorities said Saturday.

The drug, which was discovered on October 23, was hidden in bottles of coconut water in a shipment that arrived in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory by sea, a government statement said. The value of the merchandise is estimated at HK$1.1 billion ($140 million).

Authorities determined that 1,800 of the 7,700 bottles in the shipment contained liquid methamphetamine. The operation is the largest against this drug in the city both in terms of quantity and market value.

The investigation of the case is still open and, for the moment, no arrests have been made.

The destination of the shipment was Australia. The drugs were shipped from Mexico through Hong Kong, authorities said at a news conference on Saturday. In Australia, the market value of the merchandise could be around HK$8 billion ($1 billion).

The shipment had raised suspicions due to its large size for coconut water from Mexico.

It is the second time in less than two weeks that methamphetamine has been found in shipments from Mexico to Australia. Earlier this month, customs officials seized $5.9 million worth of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of electrical transformers.

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