Authorities seize NT$1 billion worth of narcotics: CGA

TAIPEI (CNA) – Illicit drugs with a street value of NT$1 billion (US$32.5 million), including ketamine and an ingredient used to make mephedrone, have been seized in a major drug bust over the past two months, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said today.

The haul, taken from warehouses believed to belong to the same criminal ring, included 2.8 kilograms of hashish, 60 kilograms of ketamine, 509 packets of drug-laced coffee powder, 2,653 kilograms of mephedrone ingredient 2-bromo-4-methylpropiophenone, and 1.02 million tablets of the sedative etizolam, the CGA said.

CGA Investigation Branch chief Chang Chung-lung (張忠龍) said a joint investigation with police and judicial agencies was opened after the branch’s Keelung Reconnaissance Brigade received a tip last year that illegal substances were being produced in Ruifang District in New Taipei.

After a six-month investigation that included surveillance and the collection of evidence, a 27-year-old man surnamed Wu (吳) was arrested in early January while making a drug deal in Keelung’s Qidu District, Chang said.

Following the arrest, a warehouse was discovered in New Taipei’s Wanli District that stocked hashish, ketamine and club drug erimin and other illegal raw ingredients, Chang said.

A further investigation then led to the discovery of raw materials and machinery that made illegal narcotics in the city’s Ruifang District in the second half of January, Chang said, and a 28-year-old suspect with a criminal record, surnamed Sun (孫), was also arrested last week in relation to the case.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) commended the CGA and related judicial authorities for their discovery of the drugs and the arrest of suspects involved.

By Huang Li-yun and William Yen