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Taipei civil servant indicted for alleged drug dealing at City Hall

06/07/2024 07:53 PM
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The indicted civil servant working in Taipei City Hall (center). CNA file photo
The indicted civil servant working in Taipei City Hall (center). CNA file photo

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) A section assistant with the Taipei City Department of Social Welfare was indicted Friday for selling a single cannabis vape pen in the City Hall building, prosecutors said.

The assistant, surnamed Liu (劉), could potentially face a maximum life sentence for selling a cannabis vape pen valued at NT$3,500 (US$108) to a man surnamed Chan (詹) on Jan. 2, 2024, according to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

Prosecutors indicted her under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum life sentence for the sale of Category 2 narcotics, the category under which cannabis is classified.

The police were led to Liu after stopping the car Chan was driving at a roadside inspection station late on the night of Jan. 2 at the intersection of Xinhai Road and Fuxing South Road.

Because of what the police called suspicious behavior, they searched Chan and found the cannabis vape pen on him, which he told police was bought in Taipei City Hall.

After looking at surveillance footage, the police identified Liu as the seller, and she was arrested with her boyfriend, surnamed Chou (周), following a series of raids, during which police seized 35 grams of cannabis, 18 vape pens, cannabis seeds and drug paraphernalia.

The two were arrested on March 6, and then each released on NT$200,000 bail in March, prosecutors said.

An investigation found that Chou had purchased over NT$60,000 worth of cannabis from a man identified as "Mark" in Taipei since December 2023, including vape pens valued at NT$3,500 each.

Chou gave two of the vape pens to Liu as gifts at the end of 2023, one of which she sold to Chan after negotiating the sale on the messaging app Line. She agreed to deliver the vape pen to Chan in the smoking area on the third floor of Taipei City Hall on Jan. 2.

While Chou admitted to his actions, Liu's statements were inconsistent and she "exhibited a poor attitude and showed no remorse," prosecutors said.

Liu argued, for example, that she made no money by selling the cannabis vape pen at the same price her boyfriend had purchased it for.

Chou was also indicted Friday for possession of cannabis, which carries a much lighter sentence than for the sale of drugs, prosecutors said, adding that the couple's drug use would be addressed in a separate case.

(By Lin Chang-shun and Lee Hsin-Yin)


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