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Taiwan, China cooperate to stop major drug shipment

2019/04/09 22:04:39

CNA file photo

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) At the end of last year, Taiwanese and Chinese investigators prevented a major shipment of narcotics from entering Taiwan via Southeast Asia, the Keelung District Prosecutors Office said Tuesday.

The drug shipment, weighing 1,150 kilograms, was a mixture of heroin and ketamine with an estimated street value of NT$8.34 billion (US$270 million), prosecutors said at a press conference detailing indictments relating to the case.

The case began in late 2018, when the Keelung prosecutors office received information that a cross-border criminal group planned to smuggle a large shipment of drugs from Myanmar and Thailand into the country via a local trafficker surnamed Hsu (許).

Investigators then learned that Hsu had arranged to have a Chinese-registered boat pick up the drugs near Cambodia and transfer the shipment to a Taiwanese vessel in waters near Penghu before bringing the narcotics into Taiwan, prosecutors said.

The information was relayed to authorities in China and their assistance sought, the office said, adding that law enforcement officials from Hainan Province intercepted the shipment in waters near the Chinese province on Nov. 29.

The drugs were seized and six Chinese crew members arrested.

Taiwanese authorities arrested Hsu and two accomplices the following day in Taiwan.

The three men are currently still being detained and have been charged with violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, the Keelung office said, noting that the case is the largest single cross-strait drug bust in recent history.

(By Wang Chao-yu and Ko Lin)