Latest news


Customs officials at Hong Kong International Airport made a significant discovery when they uncovered 11kg of suspected cocaine concealed within the cushions of an electric wheelchair.

The estimated value of the seized narcotics is approximately $1.5 million (£1.26 million). The illicit substances were detected during customs clearance, and a 51-year-old male passenger, who had arrived from Sint Maarten via Paris, was subsequently arrested.

The suspect, who is not a Hong Kong resident and faces potential life imprisonment if found guilty of drug trafficking, had listed the electric wheelchair as one of his two pieces of checked baggage. Authorities grew suspicious and ordered a closer inspection after noticing that the seat cushion and backrest appeared to have been re-stitched.

According to the individual, who reportedly has mobility issues, the wheelchair had been lent to him by a friend. An investigation into the incident has been initiated.

In response to this discovery, customs officials have announced plans to increase their inspections of visitors from "high-risk regions" to combat transnational drug trafficking activities. Recent statistics indicate that there were 931 cases involving dangerous drugs detected in customs checks in 2022, up from 906 the previous year, resulting in 178 related arrests.

This incident is not the first time that drugs have been found concealed within a wheelchair at an airport. In November, officials in New York discovered $450,000 worth of cocaine hidden in the wheels of a woman's wheelchair, and in September 2022, nearly $1.6 million worth of cocaine was found stuffed into the upholstery of a motorized wheelchair in Milan, Italy. Photo by Andy Mitchell from Glasgow, UK, Wikimedia commons.