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Taiwan-Japan cooperation helps crack big drug smuggling operation

2017/11/13 21:57:00

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) Japan stopped a drug smuggling operation in its waters in August with the help of Taiwanese police, officials with Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Monday, touting the case as a successful example of international cooperation in combating the drug trade.

Acting CIB investigation squad chief Yang Kuo-sung (楊國松) trumpeted the success at a press conference on Monday, at which Japanese police representatives presented the bureau a certificate to express their thanks for the assistance.

According to Yang, the CIB obtained intelligence in April related to a plan to smuggle drugs in waters close to Hitachinaka in Ibaraki Prefecture, with the handover of drugs to come by boat.

The bureau then fed the information, including the longitude and latitude of where the handover was to take place, to Japanese police, leading to the arrest of six Japanese and Chinese suspects on Aug. 22 and the seizure of 480 kilograms of amphetamines, Yang said.

Three suspects are still at large, the police officer said, noting that the CIB has launched an investigation to determine if any Taiwan nationals are involved in the case.

The seized drugs, worth an estimated NT$8 billion (US$265 million), represented the largest haul in the history of cooperation between law-enforcement authorities in Taiwan and Japan, Yang added.

CIB Commissioner Liu Po-liang (劉柏良) said the case was the 11th cross-border drug smuggling crime cracked through the bureau's international cooperation platform since 2016.

Over the past year, the CIB has helped stop drugs from being smuggled from one country to another in cooperation with police from Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, he said.

(By Huang Li-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)