The drugs had an estimated street value of HK$3.9 million.

Six Malaysians have been arrested in Hong Kong for allegedly smuggling almost HK$4 million worth of ketamine.

The Straits Times reports that the Malaysians, aged between 18 and 28, were travelling as part of a tour group. After arriving from Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, the six Malaysians were intercepted at Hong Kong International Airport’s customs clearance counter.

“More than 8 kilograms of suspected ketamine was found strapped to the bodies of four of the six men,” a source said. “The haul had an estimated street value of HK$3.9 million.”

“We believe a massive crackdown against underground drug manufacturing plants on the mainland led drug dealers to find new source of the drug and use new smuggling routing into Hong Kong,” the source added.

Officers are investigating whether the drugs were smuggled into Malaysia before being smuggled into Hong Kong and how the group were recruited.

It is suspected that drug dealers believed tour group members would be subjected to less scrutiny at the border.

Hong Kong carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

Most ketamine seized in Hong Kong has been smuggled from mainland China.