Taiwan Busts Largest Drug Import

Taiwan Busts Largest Drug Import
Photo Credit: daddyboskeazy @ Flickr CC BY 2.0

Translated and compiled by: Yuan-ling Liang

On April 13, the Taichung District Prosecutors Office announced that it had uncovered the biggest amount of drugs found in a Taiwan narcotic crime.

Two of the suspects, Cheng and Lee, were both arrested. The evidence includes 263 kilograms of ketamine and 1,520 kilograms of cathine (raw material for making amphetamine), adding up to more than NT$1 billion (approximately US$30.8 million).

At the end of March, the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau reported that drugs were found on a container ship from China. The Taichung custom officers then tracked down clues and uncovered a huge amount of drugs that could potentially be supplied to 36 million people.

Apple Daily reports, according to the prosecutors, the drug dealers intentionally imported the narcotics during spring break in Taiwan, when fewer customs officers are on duty. They stuffed the drugs inside large plastic decorations. The rest of the drugs were hidden in green tea and car wax containers. Before sent to Taiwan, the goods were originally shipped from China and loaded in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Kairo News reports, the prosecutors are glad to uncover these drugs before the annual Spring Scream music festival in Kenting, since drug abuse usually happens at the event.

Currently, the prosecutors and investigators are still tracking down the source of the drugs.

Is Taiwan a haven for drug dealers?

Apple Daily reports, on March 3, police in Yilan arrested more than ten people involved in a drug case.

The police uncovered that migrant workers at the Loung Te Industrial Park had been purchasing drugs for two months, spending more than NT$100,000 (approximately US$3,086).

Marat Wimon, the Thai worker in charge of the transactions, said that drugs are cheaper in Taiwan compared to prices overseas, and the penalty here isn’t as strict as other countries.

Wimon told the police that drug traffickers in Thailand could even be sentenced to death while drug dealers in Taiwan face much lighter punishments.

According to Taiwan’s Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, drug traffickers should either be sentenced to death or life imprisonment. However, currently, since Taiwanese judges are granted great discretionary power, few judges sentence these criminals to death. If the prisoners behave well in jail and agree to certain conditions, most of them can even be granted parole.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
CNA
China Times
Kairos
“Taiwan makes country’s largest drug haul in history" (Focus Taiwan)
Apple Daily
Apple Daily