Police bust 1st local case of liquid cocaine hidden in wine bottles

2021-02-04 03:09     Comment:0

Two men were arrested separately on Friday and Tuesday for drug trafficking involving more than 7,400 ml of liquid cocaine hidden in eight red wine bottles with an estimated street value of over 24.6 million patacas, the first case of its kind discovered in Macau, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Mark Sou Sio Keong said at a special press conference yesterday.

The two suspects are a 39-year-old local cabbie surnamed Cheang and a 19-year-old Hongkonger surnamed Lau who told the police that he works as a deliveryman for a logistics company.

According to Sou, as many jurisdictions have adjusted their immigration control measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gangs are now trafficking drugs in an even more hidden way than before.

According to Sou, the Judiciary Police were recently tipped off by the police in Hong Kong that a gang was smuggling liquid cocaine hidden in red wine bottles and arranging their express delivery from South America or Europe via Hong Kong to Macau.

PJ officers discovered that the recipients’ addresses, contact phone numbers and other information were fictitious in order to avoid the police’s investigation. Sou said the liquid cocaine was mixed with some “red stuff” to enhance the impression that the bottles contained red wine.

Sou told The Macau Post Daily last night that the police were still investigating the composition of the “red stuff”.

Sou told yesterday afternoon’s press conference about the case that PJ officers took action on Friday when they arrested Cheang who picked up a parcel at an express delivery company in the city centre. Two bottles of “red wine” containing about 2,980 ml of liquid cocaine were found in the parcel, with an estimated street value of 9.8 million patacas.

The Judiciary Police arrested Lau on Tuesday after he collected a parcel in an express delivery company in the northern district. The officers seized six bottles of “red wine” containing 4,495 ml of liquid cocaine with an estimated street value of 14.83 million patacas from Lau, according to Sou.

Under questioning, Cheang told the police that a drug gang had promised him between 2,000 and 3,000 patacas for collecting the goods. Lau claimed that he had been hired by a drug gang to come to Macau to collect the parcel. After completing the mandatory 21-day quarantine at a hotel in Cotai, he immediately went to the northern district to pick up the parcel. Lau told the police that he had been promised HK$40,000 by the gang for going through the quarantine period and picking up the parcel.

The duo were taken to the public hospital for drug tests where both tested negative. The duo refused to reveal further information to the police. However, according to Sou, the Judiciary Police believe that they were hired by the same drug gang. Sou said that the investigations were continuing, adding that the police were looking for other possible suspects and the kingpin.

Cheang and Lau were transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) on Saturday and yesterday respectively, facing charges of trafficking in narcotic and psychotropic substances, according to Sou.

Evidence seized from the two suspects such as eight red wine bottles containing liquid cocaine, a smartphone and Hong Kong dollar notes is displayed in the Judiciary Police (PJ) headquarters yesterday.

The 19-year-old hooded Hong Kong drug suspect is escorted by Judiciary Police (PJ) officers from the PJ headquarters in Zape to a vehicle yesterday. Photos: Iong Tat Choi

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