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Taiwan authorities bust biggest heroin case in decade
Publication Date : 22-08-2012
Taiwan's Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB), in cooperation with the Coast Guard Administration, uncovered a smuggling case yesterday morning, discovering 171 bricks of heroin valued at NT$2 billion (US$66 million) and weighing 60 kilogrammes. The amount of heroin seized is reportedly the largest and most valuable confiscated over the last decade.
The MJIB arrested seven suspects and indicated it was likely that representatives of Pingtung County participated in the smuggling ring in a fundraising capacity. Investigators are to conduct an extensive investigation. Anyone believed to be involved in the case will be taken into custody and held incommunicado.
The MJIB has been monitoring the case for more than six months. Since February, the MJIB has been aware of the smuggling ring, but chose to delay action until they could conduct a thorough investigation. On August 20, after receiving notifications that fishing boat Hung-chi-yu No. 7 was set to deliver the illegal drugs, the MJIB, before allowing the boat to dock, set sail at 10 a.m. and cut the vessel off at the Bashi Channel. Investigators boarded the vessel to confiscate the illegal shipment, discovering stacks of the highly purified heroine.
Authorities arrested a total of seven suspects, including the alleged leader of the smuggling ring, surnamed Chuang, who was the owner and operator of the vessel. By noon, the MJIB has directed the boat to Kaohsiung Harbor and is now set to conduct thorough a investigation of all suspects.
Anti-drug officers allege that a few months earlier local representatives of Pingtung County conducted and participated in the smuggling, raising substantial funds for the operation. Investigators first interrogated Chuang and will keep other participants in custody, including a Pingtung representative, surnamed Chang, among others.