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Pinay tourist charged for carrying cocaine

07 March 2016

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina tourist who was caught at Chek Lap Kok airport with more than five kilos of cocaine in her luggage appeared in Tsuen Wan court on a drug trafficking charge on on Feb 16.

Rizza Mae L. Argamaso was arrested on Feb. 7 upon her arrival from Cebu, said a report on the Customs Department’s website, after officers discovered about 5.3 kilograms of suspected cocaine in her luggage.

But other official sources told The SUN the Filipina had flown in from Manila.

The drug was reportedly found inside shoes, folders and handbags that 28-year-old Argamaso carried in her luggage.

The prosecution applied for an adjournment of the hearing as investigation was underway and it was waiting for a report on a chemical test conducted on the seized drug.

Magistrate Jim Chun-ki adjourned the hearing to April 15. The defense made no bail application and the magistrate ordered Argamaso remanded in custody. Jim told the Filipina she may apply for bail at the Court of First Instance.

Argamaso’s arrest came as Customs authorities stepped up a crackdown on cross-boundary and transnational drug trafficking at all of Hong Kong’s border control points, including the airport, during the Lunar New Year.

Over a three-day period, officers seized about 8 kilos of suspected cocaine, 5.8 kilos of suspected cannabis resin and 2 kilos of suspected ketamine with a market value of about $9.4 million, the Customs & Excise Department said on its website.

Argamaso was the third to be arrested in four similar cases just before the Lunar New Year.
The first case involved an incoming female passenger from Dubai on Feb 5. Customs officers found two biscuit cans and four tea cans stuffed with 141 pellets of suspected cocaine weighing a total of about 2.7 kilograms.

The arrested woman aged 36 claimed to be a businesswoman.

The second case involved an incoming male passenger from Kolkata, India via Singapore on Feb 6. During baggage examination, Customs officers found some foodstuff packages and toothpaste in two carton boxes.

In-depth examination led to the discovery of about 5.8 kilos of suspected cannabis resin concealed in 14 packs of foodstuff and 21 pieces of toothpaste tubes. The arrested man, aged 27, claimed to be a tailor. 
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