Hong Kong customs seize 'biggest-ever' cocaine haul

Hong Kong customs officials show the cocaine seized on 4 July to the media, 6 July 2012 Customs officials received a tip from US officials regarding the drugs

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Customs officials in Hong Kong have seized cocaine weighing close to 650kg (1,433lbs) in what they say is their biggest drug haul ever.

John Lee, Customs Drug Investigation Bureau head, said that they seized drugs with a street value of HK$760m ($98m, £63.11m) on Wednesday based on a tip from US officials.

The drugs arrived in a container from Ecuador, officials say.

The authorities have arrested three local men.

"This is the biggest-ever cocaine seizure made in Hong Kong," Mr Lee said, adding that he believed the cocaine was to be sent to countries in south-east Asia.

He said that the container with the drugs was one among a batch referred by the US Drug Enforcement Administration for further processing between April and June.

In September 2011, Hong Kong police made what they said was their largest ever drugs bust at the time, seizing nearly half a tonne of cocaine with a street value of around $77m.

The drugs were hidden under heaps of recycled plastic materials thought to have been brought into the city in shipping containers.

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