Hong Kong police said on Sunday that they had made a record seizure of 700 kilograms of cocaine that was allegedly smuggled in by speedboats.
This is the largest seizure carried out on Hong Kong territory in nearly ten years.
The market value of cocaine is estimated at some 930 million Hong Kong dollars (101 million euros).
According to the authorities, the drop in international travel since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has forced traffickers to resort to new modes of transport for lack of mules to introduce it by air.
This seizure was carried out on Friday by police officers who intercepted, in the industrial district of Fo Tan, a vehicle containing 150 packages of cocaine in cardboard boxes.
A little later, 492 packages were discovered in an industrial building and an apartment in the same neighborhood, leading to the arrest of two men, 19 and 25.
“We believe that the drugs were transported by ships from South America to near Hong Kong, then smuggled in via speedboats,” Commissioner Ng Kwok-cheung told reporters.
“We found many waterproof bags still wet at the scene and all the cocaine packages were carefully wrapped in plastic,” he added.
Police say Hong Kong’s previous record cocaine seizure of 649 kilograms dates back to 2012.