The Customs Department on Saturday said nine people have been arrested over the seizure of about 25,000 cannabidol (CBD) products that are suspected of containing a dangerous drug.
Officers said they raided three warehouses as well as six shops across the territory, including three that are run by a large retail chain, earlier this week.
They said they confiscated goods such as CBD oil, skin care products and dog snacks with an estimated market value of about HK$14.6 million.
The operation came after Customs officers tested a shipment of CBD products from the United States and found tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.
THC is banned in Hong Kong, and can cause health problems including addiction and hallucinations.
Officers then raided a trade company’s office in Cheung Sha Wan that was said to have imported the shipment. Investigations showed the importer had allegedly supplied the CBD products to the large retail chain.
A total of nine people, aged between 21 and 44, were arrested in connection with the case, including a purchasing manager and three shop managers.
Cheng Tak-hei from the Customs’ syndicate crimes investigation bureau, said that although some countries allowed certain concentrations of THC in CBD products, Hong Kong has zero tolerance for the substance.
He said importers and retailers needed to be extra careful in selling CBD products and they should understand the risks involved.