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Countrywide raids seize 4,000kg of illicit drugs

2018/02/23 15:14:41

CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) A series of drug raids carried out across Taiwan, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5, seized more than 4,000 kilograms of illicit drugs, reinforcing the Cabinet's determination to further prioritize its anti-drug campaign, by providing more sources and introducing harsher punishments.

According to data provided by the Cabinet, the raids, which involved local police, personnel from the Investigation Bureau, the Coast Guard administration and military police, resulted in the arrest of 431 suspects, uncovered 11 illegal drug production sites and confiscated about NT$7.98 million from drug-related crimes as well as a fishing boat and seven cars.

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said at an event to publicize the success of the operation that this was the largest drug bust ever in Taiwan and congratulated the 36 units of police officers and government officials who helped ensure its success.

What makes these raids different from those in the past is their scope, enlisting not only the assistance of different local government agencies but also building and community security officers to raid residential areas where drug use is most likely to take place, Lai said.

Furthermore, the raids focused equally on catching drug users, producers, distributors and sellers, he noted.

The Cabinet is committed to cracking down on drug-related activities in Taiwan, having promised to provide NT$10 billion in funding to related agencies to ensure they have enough people and the proper equipment.

Lai also said that the Cabinet will seek amendments to existing laws to include harsher punishments for the manufacture and sale of illicit drugs.

(By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu)