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Inside Hong Kong’s Massive Mail-Order Date-Rape Drug Problem

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

?In the first four months of 2018, Hong Kong authorities have already seized more GBL, a common date-rape drug, than they did during all of 2017 according to the South China Morning Postciting a senior Chinese customs agent. 

Between January and the end of April, authorities recovered 131kg of gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), a cleaning chemical frequently used in date rapes. To put that in perspective, 124kg of the chemical was seized last year, carrying a street value of nearly HK$4 million (US$512,820). There were no seizures in the first four months of 2017. 

Colorless and odorless, GBL was listed by Hong Kong as dangerous in 2012 – while trafficking it carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine (US$637,393). Users of the common party drug experience feelings of reduced inhibitions and euphoria, while stronger doses can cause sleepiness, confusion and dizziness. 

Warning bells sounded after a local male model and an Australian man were arrested earlier this month at a flat in Central, where customs officers seized 13 litres of GBL. The drug was believed to be intended for use in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong nightlife district.

The arrests were prompted by the discovery at Hong Kong International Airport’s cargo terminal of 10 litres of GBL, with a street value of HK$200,000, in a parcel sent from Lithuania. -SCMP

After customs officers found 10 liters of GBL hidden in a parcel from Lithuania in mid-May, police posing as couriers carried out a controlled delivery of the shipment to a Hong Kong apartment, where the male model, 53, and a Hong Kong man, 30, were arrested. 

“Inside the flat, 3kg of the drug Ice, three litres of GBL and 2kg of various illegal drugs such as cocaine, cannabis buds and resin, and Ecstasy were seized along with some tablets of suspected stimulants and packaging equipment,” a customs officer said, adding "We are still investigating how long it had been used as a drug distribution and packaging centre, and we are also looking into the source of the drugs."

“We recently noticed some date rape drug in parcels arriving from Lithuania destined for Hong Kong. The parcels stated boldly that the contents were chemicals for industrial use, the customs source said. “The liquid is commonly used as an industrial cleaner in some countries and is perfectly legal. It is widely available on the internet.”

One online shop based in Lithuania said on its website that GBL could be used as a solvent to remove paint, oil, ink and graffiti. A 350ml bottle costs as little as 16.49 euros (US$19.20).

We send orders through DHL across the entire world,” it said.

In late April, a 25-litre bottle of GBL was found in a parcel from Lithuania when customs conducted a check on an express parcel company in Cheung Sha Wan. On the same day officers arrested two men in an industrial unit in Kowloon Bay, where one more litre of GBL was seized. -SCMP

The Hong Kong Security Bureau's Narcotics Division states on its website that GBL can result in drowsiness even at low doses, while leading to unconsciousness or death in higher quantities.

“This clear, odourless liquid is often used as a date rape drug and is added to flavoured drinks to mask its salty taste,” it stated. “It can be put into a person’s drink when they are not aware, making them vulnerable to sexual assault or rape.”


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