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Former police officer arrested for drug smuggling

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Keelung District Prosecutors Office took Huang Ching-ruei (黃慶瑞), the former leader of a narcotics unit within the Keelung City Police Bureau, and four other former police officers into custody over the smuggling and sale of heroin in Keelung City, yesterday.

According to the prosecutors, Huang, the former leader of the Keelung Third Narcotics Unit, has for some time been suspected of organizing a drug trafficking group. Keelung prosecutors said they took notice of the group members after they began indulged themselves in alcohol and gambling after they earned illegal profits from selling drugs last September. In addition, prosecutors received reports claiming that Huang was smuggling illegal drugs into the country via foreign fishermen.

Therefore, prosecutors formed a team to investigate Huang's case.

On Jan. 28, prosecutors confiscated eight bricks of heroin, totaling 3.15 kilograms. The confiscated drugs are worth around NT$20 million on the black market. In addition, prosecutors also arrested a man surnamed Tseng, who was allegedly in charge of collecting the drugs.

Tseng later confessed and implicated other members of the drug ring, including Huang, a former police officer, surnamed Cheng, and drug dealer Yao Chao-hsiao (姚兆孝), in fear of being put in jail, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said they demoted Huang on Feb. 7 and arrested him on Feb. 17. Meanwhile, prosecutors also searched Yao's house, discovering heroin on the premises. The court approved a warrant to arrest Huang yesterday. Prosecutors are still searching for the other members involved in the case, and have restricted the suspects from leaving the country.

Deputy Director-General of the Keelung City Police Bureau Chang Lung-hsing (張隆興) said they will dismiss Huang and report him to the National Police Agency. Chang also pointed out that officials will call a meeting to further discuss this issue and reflect on police discipline in order to prevent similar cases from happening in the future.

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