HONG KONG (AP) - In their largest haul ever, police in Hong Kong have seized 820 pounds (372 kilograms) of cocaine from a suburban house that was reportedly part of a botched drug shipment sent to the southern Chinese territory by mistake.
Officers discovered the stash - which has a street value of 337 million Hong Kong dollars ($43.4 million) - while investigating a missing person report in the suburban Fanling district on Sunday, Hong Kong police said in a statement.
The cocaine was stored in 26 boxes on the roof of the three-story village house, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.
The huge stash was the subject of negotiations between the
missing person - suspected Dutch-Chinese dealer Chang Ma-ki - and
Hong Kong dealers after it was mistakenly shipped to the territory,
the Post reported, citing Ted Tsang, the acting chief
superintendent of the Hong Kong police's narcotics bureau.
A Hong Kong police spokeswoman said Tuesday it wasn't
immediately clear where the drugs originated and where they were
intended for. The spokeswoman, would only give her surname, Tam.
Tam said officers are still searching for Chang, whom the Post
said arrived in Hong Kong from the Netherlands with his wife on
In the meantime, Hong Kong police said they have arrested eight
people - four men and four women aged 22 to 84 - in connection to
the case. Among the arrested suspects, a 52-year-old man has been
charged with trafficking in dangerous drugs, while five others are
still being detained for further questioning and two have been
released on bail.
Drug trafficking carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment
and a fine of HK$5 million ($644,000) in Hong Kong.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)