Hong Kong’s electric surprise: US$1.5 million hidden cocaine stash rolls in an electric wheelchair

Photo: KhaoSod.

Hong Kong customs officials discovered an estimated US$1.5 million (54 million baht) worth of concealed cocaine stash inside an electric wheelchair. The 11 kilogramme drug haul was found on a 51 year old man travelling from Saint Martin, a Mediterranean country, to Hong Kong via Paris, France.

The discovery occurred on Saturday, October 14, during the man’s customs clearance at Hong Kong International Airport.

The suspect, who claimed to be a car rental company manager, was arrested by Hong Kong police. He faces a possible life sentence if convicted of serious drug trafficking offences.

The wheelchair, which was one of two pieces of luggage he had checked in, had been inspected at the departure point. However, customs officers found anomalies in the seat and backrest, which showed signs of new stitches, leading to further examination.

The man alleged that the wheelchair belonged to a friend who had lent it to him for temporary use. Hong Kong police are currently investigating the case. Hong Kong customs have declared an increase in inspections of tourists and travellers from regions considered high-risk for drug trafficking.

According to the most recent statistics, the number of drug-related cases detected by Hong Kong customs last year stood at 931 cases, an increase from the 906 cases in the previous year.

Approximately 178 suspects were arrested a rise from the previous year. This is not the first time drugs have been found concealed in wheelchairs. In November last year, airport officials in New York, USA, seized a cocaine stash worth US$450,000 (16 million baht) found in the wheels of a woman’s wheelchair.

In the same year in September, officials discovered nearly US$1.6 million worth of cocaine, or about 58 million baht, stashed in the seat of a motorised wheelchair at an airport in Milan, Italy reported KhaoSod.

The recent increase in passenger numbers post-pandemic has led customs officials to pledge to increase checks on people arriving at the airport from high-risk drug areas.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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