Customs seized about 1.7 kilograms of suspected cocaine at Hong Kong International Airport. Photos: HK Government, iStock

A 41-year-old man was arrested in Hong Kong on Wednesday when he collected a parcel believed to contain illegal drugs. On April 26, customs officers at Hong Kong International Airport discovered a suspicious parcel, which was labeled as a metal container sent from Brazil, a government release showed.

After an investigation, officers found a hidden compartment inside the container and 1.7 kilograms of what they suspect is cocaine, with an estimated market value of HK$1.7 million (US$216,570).

The parcel was addressed to an industrial building in Kwun Tong and Kowloon customs officers intercepted a man when he attempted to collect the parcel. Customs officials are investigating the source of the drugs and the sales channels, the Oriental Daily reported, identifying the arrested man as an “African” holder of a temporary Hong Kong identity card.

It is believed drug syndicates hire asylum seekers in Hong Kong and arrange for them to receive drug parcels shipped from overseas.