A 15-year-old Hong Kong girl was arrested at a border checkpoint on Tuesday after she allegedly tried to smuggle cocaine worth around HK$19.3 million (US$2.5 million) into the city from Shenzhen.
The girl, who was dressed as an office lady and was traveling with a suitcase in a luxury seven-seater vehicle, was intercepted by Hong Kong Narcotics Bureau officers at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point, Hong Kong police said in a media briefing on Thursday.
She was arrested when officers allegedly found 20 kilograms of suspected cocaine in her suitcase.
The teenager, raised in a single-parent family, dropped out of school last year and has been unemployed recently, police said.
Police later arrested two men, aged 23 and 24, at their homes in Kwun Tong and Tin Shui Wai. The duo had triad backgrounds and were core members of a drug-trafficking syndicate, police said, adding that they had offered between HK$10,000 and $12,000 to the girl to carry a suitcase across the border from the mainland.
Police Superintendent Ng Wing-sze says criminal groups are using online platforms to recruit young people as drug traffickers. They usually lure the youngsters with free meals and entertainment. Police have called for parents to be alert if their children suddenly have a lot of money.
In Hong Kong, a drug trafficker if convicted can face life imprisonment and a fine of up to HK$5 million.