Hong Kong Police have since Monday launched a territory-wide anti-drug trafficking exercise. Among the targets in the city’s bustling Tsim Sha Tsui district was Chungking Mansions, a major tourist attraction which in recent years has become a hive of illicit drug activity.

On Monday evening a 37-year-old Bangladeshi was arrested by agents from the police’s Narcotics Bureau and Special Duties Squad inside the notorious high-rise that attracts tourists and merchants from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The arrestee was an asylum seeker permitted to remain in the city under a recognizance form. He was found to be holding seven grams of suspected cannabis buds, along with HK$8,000 (US$1,019) in cash believed to be the proceeds from selling drugs.

Some 513 grams of cannabis resin and 90 grams of cannabis buds worth HK$88,000 were seized in a subsequent search in the man’s rented unit inside Chungking Mansions.

Other police raids across the city saw arrests of some 19 persons allegedly involved in dealing crack cocaine. Some of those arrested reportedly had triad affiliations.

Chungking Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Google Maps
Chungking Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Google Maps

At the end of last month, police smashed a drug ring operating in Chungking Mansions and detained four persons, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Nearly two kilograms of cocaine worth HK$1.9 million (US$240,090) was seized inside a Chungking unit.

A 27-year-old South Asian man was also detained in nearby Mirador Mansion, leading to police discovering 32 grams of crack cocaine, 53 grams of cannabis buds, 296 grams of cannabis resin, 37 ecstasy pills as well as 13 “toxic stamps” – stamp-sized papers infused with a drug solvent and then dried.