Hong Kong engineer, 21, arrested in Taiwan for drug trafficking, concealing HK$2.42m cannabis in cello

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21st May 2024 – (Taipei) A 21-year-old elevator maintenance engineer from Hong Kong, identified as Au Yeung, found himself in legal trouble after a failed stock investment led him to accumulate debts. Seeking a way out of his financial predicament, he accepted an offer to transport 10.1 kilograms of cannabis, with an estimated value of approximately HK$2.42 million, hidden within a cello, from Thailand to Taiwan.

The authorities became suspicious when Customs officers detected an irregularity in the X-ray image of his checked luggage. Upon collecting his belongings and attempting to clear customs, Mr. Au Yeung was intercepted and the illicit activity was exposed. He has since been handed over to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for investigation and potential charges under the Dangerous Drugs Control Act.

According to the Aviation Police Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force, Mr. Au Yeung, a Hong Kong resident, boarded a flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Taiwan on 11th March. Due to concerns regarding his checked luggage, both the Aviation Police Bureau and customs officials intercepted him during the baggage claim process. Upon inspection of the cello, which he had used to transport the drugs, a total of 10.162 kilograms of cannabis, classified as a Category 2 narcotic, were discovered. The street value of the seized drugs amounts to tens of millions of New Taiwan Dollars (equivalent to approximately HK$2.42 million).

Investigations have revealed that Mr. Au Yeung worked as an elevator maintenance engineer in Hong Kong, earning a monthly salary of around HK$30,000. However, his involvement in stock trading and subsequent financial losses led him to accumulate significant debts. Introduced by a friend, he became entangled in the drug trafficking scheme in exchange for lucrative compensation. Prior to his departure to Taiwan, he first collected the cello containing the concealed narcotics from a designated hotel specified by the drug syndicate.