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Growing number of Taiwan nationals busted in Australia for drugs: MOFA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday called on Taiwanese nationals to follow local laws when traveling in Australia as more and more Taiwan nationals are being arrested in the country over drug-smuggling charges.

Bob Chen (陳龍錦), deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said at a news briefing in Taipei yesterday that a total of 50 R.O.C. nationals were arrested in Australia between Jan. 2009 and July. 2014 due to their suspected involvement in drug-smuggling in the country.

Only four Taiwanese were arrested in Australia under such charges in 2009. However, a total of 24 nationals have been arrested by Australian police so far this year under drug-trafficking allegations, Chen noted.

Statistics show that a steadily rising number of Taiwanese have been found violating laws and regulations in Australia.

He pointed out that drug-smuggling is a serious violation of the law in Australia, as it is in Taiwan. Most of those convicted face 6 to 8 years in prison, while in one case a Taiwan national faces a 13-year-prison term.

Most of the Taiwanese suspects arrested on drugs charges are aged between 25 and 40. The youngest suspect was 21, while the oldest was 72, he noted.

Chen noted that Taiwan's representative office in Sydney has been doing its best to safeguard the legal rights of Taiwan nationals in the country.

He reminded Taiwanese tourists not to take forbidden items into Australia and to follow local laws when traveling overseas.

August 27, 2014    piawliangjohny@
Australia needs to punish or put in prison without bail/ life in prison those who bring in drugs.. it’s very serious case that must two nation have to be tough so that these younger generation will think twice before commit any crimes in future... now a days.... many young generation prefer to have one time millionaire in selling drugs instead of working or invent new items to compete with other country for better tomorrow.
August 29, 2014    ludahai_twn@
And yet when people are busted for drugs in Taiwan, very little attention is paid to it by the media... unless a foreign resident is involved.
August 29, 2014    ioot@
Punishment doesn't stop crime. It simply makes the drugs more expensive and thus more profitable to do the crime. What they should do is find ways to prevent people's boredom. When people aren't bored anymore, they won't commit crimes. A government could do that by legalizing harmless drugs such as marijuana, thus allowing bored people an outlet in drugs, or by creating a new kind of activity, thus invigorating the populace in a drug free manner.
August 29, 2014    mtsai16@
@ ioot

What do you propose?

Aren't harmless drugs already aplenty? Cigarettes, cigars, betel nut, intoxicative inhalants, beer, liquor, etc.

@ " ... by creating a new kind of activity, thus invigorating the populace in a drug free manner."

Many activities, both legal and illegal, exist already: drag racing on highways and other roads, surfing with great whites, swimming across croc-infested waters, bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, scuba diving, etc.

Folks are far more creative than the government dares to be!

@ What they should do is find ways to prevent people's boredom.

Advocating for a nanny state?
September 2, 2014    billparkhurst7@
Marijuana use is worldwide and Asia is on the wrong side of history to continue treating it with criminal penalties. Over the next decade the so called war on drugs will be abandoned for the failure it was and the hardship it caused to so many people worldwide. Marijuana should be viewed as a useful, profitable crop with the range of products it offers. Before its fiber was a profitable crop. Asia is a prime growing region and should realize the missed opportunities.
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