TAIPEI (CNA) — A Canadian man was arrested late last month at Taoyuan International Airport while trying to smuggle an estimated NT$100 million (US$3.29 million) worth of cannabis into the country, the Aviation Police Bureau (APB) said Tuesday.
The man arrived in Taiwan on Oct. 30 on a direct flight from Toronto, carrying two pieces of checked luggage that were flagged during an x-ray scan, according to Tien Wei-jen (田偉仁), deputy captain of APB Criminal Investigation Police Brigade.
Upon inspection at Customs, it was found that the two suitcases contained 30 vacuum-sealed bags, filled with a total of 31.63 kilograms of cannabis flowers, the street value of which was estimated at NT$80-120 million, Tien said.
Under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, cannabis is classified as a category 2 narcotic — the second highest in the four categories.
The penalty for manufacturing, transporting or selling such narcotics ranges from seven years to life in prison and a fine of up to NT$10 million.
Tien said the Canadian has been handed over to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office, where investigators are trying to establish whether he is connected to an organized crime group and to determine the source and destination of the drugs.
(By Wu Jui-chi and Matthew Mazzetta)