Thursday, 21 July 2016

A Fruitless Shipment

One South American dragon fruit that had liquid cocaine in its centre
Some drug traffickers are really creative these days, and after this case, Hong Kong customs officers might check fruit shipments even more carefully from now on.

That's because they found liquid cocaine with an estimated street value of HK$15.7 million (US$2 million) concealed in the hollow centres of 98 dragon fruit that arrived by air from Colombia.

It was apparently the first time such a method of drug concealment was discovered in Hong Kong in about 20 years.

The shipment was chosen for inspection because fresh fruit arriving from overseas by air is usually picked up on the day of arrival, but in this case it was sitting there for two days.

Customs officers inspected each fruit to see if they had drugs
Customs officers spent more than four hours opening 160 boxes and checking nearly 2,000 dragon fruits -- also known as pitayas -- one by one on Tuesday, two days after the shipment arrived from Colombia via Britain.

The concealment method was described as "sophisticated" and "innovative". "Part of the fruit layer was peeled off and pulp was removed before liquid cocaine was injected into the hollow centre and the layer was glued back on," said a source.

"From appearance, it was hard to distinguish the ones concealing illegal drugs. Officers had to inspect them one by one."

In the end 98 dragon fruits contained the drug within 50 boxes among other fruits that had not been compromised.

"Each dragon fruit carried about 130 grams of liquid cocaine. A total of 15kg of liquid cocaine was seized with an estimated street value of HK$15.7 million."

A 36-year-old truck driver was arrested when he tried to pick up the shipment.

The authorities are investigating whether the shipment was for Hong Kong or another destination.

In the meantime drug traffickers will have to think of a more fruitful way to get their illicit products to their destination.

2 comments:

  1. Haha, dexterous punnery in the last line!

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