Forty-six people were rounded up when police raided and closed down an unlicensed upstairs pub in Tsim Sha Tsui early on Friday.
Officers confiscated illegal drugs with an estimated street value
The 27 men and 19 women, aged 18 to 69, were arrested for offences such as selling liquor without a licence and trafficking in a dangerous drug. The suspected mastermind, a 36-year-old man, was among those rounded up.
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A police source said that initial investigations showed the pub was controlled by the Wo Shing Wo triad, who also used it as a drug distribution centre.
“Intelligence showed illegal drugs were available at the venue, and couriers came to pick up the drugs and sold them to buyers at other entertainment venues in the Kowloon West region. Customers also took illegal drugs there,” the source said.
The arrests were made when officers, acting on intelligence, raided a Carnarvon Road commercial flat that had been turned into an unlicensed pub shortly after midnight.
Chief Inspector Calvin Mohammed of the Yau Tsim district crime squad said the pub’s front door was not wide open, and it did not serve walk-in customers.
“Intelligence showed it served only regular clients and their friends, and most of the customers were youngsters,” he said.
Officers seized 100 grams of suspected ketamine and 15 grams of what appeared to be cocaine at the venue.
The chief inspector believes the pub had been in operation for a while.
The suspects were being held for questioning and had not been charged, and the investigation is ongoing.
The raid was part of a series of anti-narcotics operations across the city this week.
On Wednesday, officers from the force’s Narcotics Bureau arrested three suspected drug traffickers and seized 3.5kg of suspected Ice and cocaine with an estimated street value of HK$1.94 million in two separated operations in Kwai Chung and Kwun Tong.
On Thursday, Sham Shui Po police arrested two men, one of them from the mainland, and seized illegal drugs with an estimated street value of HK$20,500.
Police figures show seizure of cocaine rose by 162 per cent to 341kg last year compared with 130kg in 2014. Police and customs officers seized 802kg of ketamine last year, a 140 per cent rise compared with 334kg in 2014.