6 Malaysian nationals indicted on drug trafficking charges

08/17/2022 10:07 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Administration
Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Administration

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) Six Malaysian nationals have been indicted on drug related charges in the largest seizure of heroin in Taiwan this year, Tainan District Prosecutors Office said Wednesday.

In a statement, prosecutors said the six men were detained at sea with 122 kilograms of heroin and 300 kg of ketamine on board their Malaysia-registered tugboat, 117 nautical miles southwest off the coast of the Port of Kaohsiung on April 23.

Prosecutors said they believed the drugs, which had a street value of NT$1.2 billion (US$40 million), were smuggled from the "Golden Triangle," an area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.

The Malaysian nationals, who set sail from a port in Sabah, took delivery of the drugs from an unknown vessel on waters near Sarawak, prosecutors said.

The suspects were in Taiwan's exclusive economic zone and attempting to make contact with another vessel when they were detained, prosecutors said.

Taiwan's coast guard intercepted the vessel after receiving a tip, arresting and detaining the six-member crew after they initially refused to be boarded and searched.

The men were indicted on charges of violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, the Smuggling Penalty Act and the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, prosecutors said.

(By Chang Jung-hsiang and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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