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Hong Kong announces record seizure of methamphetamine from Mexico

One of the methamphetamine packages seized in Hong Kong.Hong Kong Government

The routes of the Mexican cartels have left a new trail in Asia. Hong Kong announced on Monday the seizure of more than half a ton of methamphetamine from Mexico. It is the largest drug seizure in the history of this Chinese city, authorities have announced, calculating that the value of the shipment is around 38 million dollars.

The stash was hidden in a container with 251 sacks of cement, each containing two sealed packages of white powder, also known as crystal. “Cement is not an expensive product, so [los narcotraficantes] they don’t have to worry about collecting and then disposing of the product, “anti-drug officials at customs have said.

The authorities have commented that this technique is common among criminal groups that take advantage of maritime routes to traffic drugs, given the difficulty of checking heavy shipments. “When we do the inspections, we have to remove the shipments from the containers to check them with X-rays and manually,” they have said. it’s a statement, in which it is detailed that the discovery occurred last week.

Before arriving in Hong Kong, the shipment spent more than three months in Vietnam and also passed through South Korea, but customs documents confirmed that the country of origin was Mexico. The final destination was Australia, where the authorities calculate that the value of the merchandise can be up to five times higher when it reaches the hands of final consumers.

Most of the methamphetamine traded in Asia and Oceania comes from an area known as the Golden Triangle, on the border between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, Efe points out. In recent months, drug shipments from Mexico have become increasingly common, according to local media cited by the Spanish agency.

The pandemic has forced international organized crime groups to find alternatives to the use of mules human rights, his preferred method of circulating the drug, authorities have explained. Drug trafficking is punishable in Hong Kong with a fine of $ 600,000 and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Mexican cartels dominate methamphetamine trafficking in the United States, according to the latest annual report from the DEA. The anti-drug agency designates it as a dangerous narcotic because traffickers have managed to improve production techniques in clandestine laboratories and have created more powerful products with a higher degree of purity, at increasingly lower prices.

“Most of Mexico’s criminal groups are involved in methamphetamine trafficking, which has caused greater competition among them,” the document reads. Amid a public health crisis over opioid use, US authorities have focused on methamphetamine-fentanyl mixtures, which remain less common than heroin combinations, for example, but are increasingly in demand. . The methamphetamine trafficking ring produces profits in Asia alone of between $ 8 billion and $ 17.7 billion each year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.