The police on Friday said they believe a haul of 424 kilogrammes of suspected cocaine was smuggled into Hong Kong by traffickers who intended to make bumper profits by selling it to holiday revellers.
Five people were arrested on suspicion of trafficking after officers found the drugs, worth around HK$366 million, in the biggest cocaine bust of the year.
Superintendent Lau Kai-pang told a press briefing that most of the haul was hidden inside an underground hole at a storage facility in Yuen Long.
He said the spot was further concealed by a wooden plank with a car parked directly above it.
Senior inspector Ng Ka-lun, meanwhile, said officers believe the drugs are meant for the domestic market.
"We believe it is the intent of the drug syndicate to take the opportunity of the coming New Year holidays, and the Chinese New Year holidays, as well as possibly the Easter holidays, to enhance their sale of drugs. Therefore, they smuggled the cocaine in bulk into Hong Kong, with an attempt to try to increase their sales and [gain] greater profits," Ng said.
The force reminded members of the public to celebrate the upcoming holidays safely and avoid using drugs.