Hong Kong: Village head paid HK$300,000 to store cocaine, prosecutor says

By enquirewithin · Apr 28, 2010 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    A village head told police he was given HK$300,000 in cash to store boxes containing 372kg of cocaine on his roof, a court heard yesterday. Pang Yuet-wan, 53, head of Tai Po Tin village in Ta Kwu Ling, appeared in Fanling Court as two more people were arrested in connection with the case - bringing the number to 10. Police also continued their search for a missing man.

    Pang did not enter a plea to one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug and was remanded in custody until Monday.

    A prosecutor told Principal Magistrate Josiah Lam Wai-kuen that 26 boxes containing the cocaine were found on the roof of Pang's house in Ping Che Road, near the border.

    Pang had said under caution that he was storing the boxes for a friend and was to have received HK$5,000 a kilogram, the court heard. An unidentified man had placed the boxes on the roof at the end of February and had given him HK$300,000 in cash.

    Lam adjourned the case pending further investigation into the whereabouts of a Dutch-Chinese visitor, Chang Ma-ki, whose reported disappearance on Friday led to the drug seizure, the largest amount of cocaine ever found in the city. He ruled that Pang be held in custody because of the seriousness of the case.

    Two men aged 54 and 55 were caught yesterday when officers from the narcotics bureau returned to the village as the hunt for Chang continued in the surrounding area. They were being held for questioning and no charge had been laid.

    On Sunday and Monday, police arrested Pang and seven other people, including his elderly parents, wife and younger brother. Pang's parents were released on bail and are to report to police next month.

    Five people - Pang's wife, brother, two sisters-in-law and a man arrested on Monday - have been charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug and are to appear in Fanling Court today.

    Chang came to Hong Kong with his wife on April 15. Officers said the consignment had been sent to the city by mistake while being rerouted and Chang was believed to have come to negotiate its return.

    "It's possible that the rerouting was to evade detection from overseas law enforcers," an officer said. "We are still investigating its intended destination."

    Police believe Chang knew where the drugs had been stored.

    He was last seen on Thursday when he left his Tsuen Wan flat and went to the village. He told his wife to call police if he did not return by 10pm. "Before he left, he told his wife where he was going," the officer said.

    Meanwhile, Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said his bureau would review its intelligence system to look for loopholes, "but we would not jump to the conclusion that law enforcers could not have seized this cocaine haul if we had not received the missing person report".

    Maggie Ng, Clifford Lo and Phyllis Tsang | Apr 28, 2010


    Share This Article


  1. enquirewithin
    [imgl=red]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14425&stc=1&d=1272437431[/imgl]Two more men have been arrested over a record HK$337 million cocaine haul as village head Pang Yuet-wan appeared yesterday in Fan Ling Magistrates' Court on a charge of drug trafficking. Pang, 53, who says he is a salesman, has confessed to being paid HK$300,000 to store the drug in his three-story house in Ta Kwu Leng, the court was told.

    No plea was taken and the case was adjourned to May 3 for mention. Pang was ordered to be remanded in police custody.

    A police spokeswoman said the two men arrested yesterday were aged 54 and 55. No further details were disclosed. Two men and three women arrested on Sunday will appear in court today on charges of trafficking. Pang's parents were bailed and ordered to report back to the police by the end of next month.

    Tai Po Tin village head Pang was arrested with seven others after police investigating the disappearance of a Dutch-Chinese man, Cheung Man-ki, stumbled onto the drugs. Cheung, who has been missing since April 22, was believed to have gone to the village to deal with the drugs. Officers described as pure speculation a report that Cheung was negotiating with local drug dealers for the return of the shipment, which was mistakenly shipped to Hong Kong.

    Prosecutors said 26 boxes containing 372 kilograms of drugs were found packed in 372 blocks on the top floor of Pang's house. The prosecutor said the payment to Pang was part of a deal to store the cocaine at HK$5,000 per kilogram. An unknown man delivered the drugs to Pang's home at the end of February. Offices continued the search for Cheung yesterday as Government Flying Services helicopters hovered overhead.

    Security chief Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said checks will be made into whether there are any loopholes in intelligence exchanges. "We will see if there is any failure, but I want to point out that intelligence exchanges involve departments such as customs and the police. Of course, not all intelligence can be received by Hong Kong, or else there will be no drug case in the territory."[imgl=red]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14424&stc=1&d=1272437431[/imgl]

    Beatrice Siu / Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!