World cocaine prices may be pushed up by big seizure in China
Hong Kong - China's biggest-ever cocaine seizure of 141 kilograms with an estimated street value of 13.5 million US dollars could push up prices of the drug around the world, according to reports Wednesday.
The massive cocaine haul was seized in a three-month joint operation by Chinese, Hong Kong and US authorities targeting a Colombian narco-trafficking syndicate.
Two Colombians were arrested in Hong Kong and seven people - a Venezuelan, a Colombian, three Chinese men and two Hong Kong men - were arrested in China.
The 141-kilogram bust was China's largest-ever seizure of a single illegal drug. Another 1 kilogram was seized in Hong Kong.
Ben Leung, who headed the Hong Kong investigation team, told Wednesday's South China Morning Post that the seizure would 'significantly affect the amount of cocaine in global circulation.'
Leung said he expected to see the world price of cocaine rise as a result and said the operation would 'send a great shock' to drug barons in Columbia.
Drug traffickers had been targeting emerging markets such as China and Hong Kong to expand their business, he said.
The sting by law enforcement agencies from the US, Hong Kong and China was the first joint operation of its kind. Hong Kong officials posed as buyers to snare members of the drug syndicate.