TAIPEI (CNA) – Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday touted two major international drug busts involving about 50 kilograms of amphetamine with a street value of NT$200 million (US$6.6 million).
In the two separate cases, Taiwanese suspects were arrested for attempting to smuggle narcotics into and out of the country as the result of joint international police cooperation, CIB Acting Commissioner Huang Ming-chao (黃明昭) said at a press conference Sunday.
In the most recent case, police in Taiwan received a tip-off from their Malaysian counterparts. As a result three Taiwanese with experience working in airport warehouses were arrested on Thursday and Friday for attempting to smuggle amphetamine into Taiwan by hiding the drug in mixed-nut and other food snack packages mailed to Taiwan, Huang said.
In collaboration with Chunghwa Post Co., Ltd., police seized 9.97 kg amphetamine and apprehended the three suspects, he noted.
Huang further said that last year, CIB and South Korean police busted another cross-border amphetamine smuggling ring, in which another three Taiwanese were arrested and indicted in South Korea for smuggling 39 kg amphetamine into that country.
However, police found the main suspects were still at large and after further investigation, the CIB arrested three more suspects in December 2018 and apprehended a key suspect on Thursday.
According to CIB official Chang Wei-lun (張瑋倫), Taiwanese police identified local suspects smuggling amphetamine into South Korea by air shipment, concealing the drugs in a metal luggage rollers to escape detection by X-ray machines.
In 2018, the CIB cracked 27 international drug smuggling cases, which led to the seizure of 1,896 kg of illicit drugs, according to Huang.
To strengthen international cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, CIB liaison officers were dispatched to Singapore in February and will be stationed in Australia from April, Huang said.
Taiwan has police liaison officers stationed in 11 other countries, including Japan, South Korea and the United States.
By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao