Two women arrested in Hong Kong for smuggling crystal meth

HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong authorities said on Monday that they had arrested two women in possession of more than a dozen kilograms of crystal methamphetamine at the city's airport.

The sisters, aged 27 and 31, were seized on Sunday at Chek Lap Kok airport on their way to Clark in the Philippines.

Airport authorities discovered they were carrying 14.5kg of "ice", according to a customs official, who withheld their nationality.

The drugs, worth HK$10.9 million (S$1.78 million), were found concealed inside false compartments of three suitcases carrying men's clothing, Customs Drug Investigation head Hui Wai-ming told reporters.

"The weight of the suitcase was a bit abnormal," he said, adding that the drugs could have been sold for more than two times the Hong Kong price in the Philippines.

Crystal methamphetamine creates a feeling of euphoria and increased confidence but hallucinations and paranoia are potential side-effects. It has become a drug of choice for young addicts in Asia.

Under Hong Kong law, manufacturing and trafficking dangerous drugs carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of five million Hong Kong dollars.