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Taiwan police seize 700 kilos of illicit drugs from mainland China

TAIPEI -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) cracked a drug trafficking case on Thursday, leading to the seizure of 424 kilograms of ketamine and 302 kilograms of ephedrine with a combined market value of more than NT$600 million (US$20 million).

The case was cracked after two years of investigation, CIB Director-General Lin Teh-hua said.

Anti-drug agents obtained information in November 2013 that a drug-smuggling ring planned to smuggle drugs into Taiwan from China by fishing boat before the Chinese New Year holiday and that a Chinese national was helping with the arrangements, Lin said.

After several days of intelligence gathering and surveillance, Lin said, CIB agents detected two men sailing away from Taiwan's coast on a fishing trip on Dec. 31 and judged they would try to smuggle drugs into the country.

When the Taiwanese fishing boat returned to port in New Taipei, the agents immediately conducted a search that led to the arrest of two men — a Taiwanese and Chinese national — and the confiscation of the drugs.

After questioning the two men, the agents referred them to the Chiayi District Prosecutors Office for investigation and continued to track down other suspects in the case.

The National Police Agency directed CIB agents in 2012 to step up the crackdown on illegal drugs to strengthen drug abuse prevention and control.

In 2013, the CIB cracked several drug smuggling cases, leading to the seizure of 450 kilograms of ketamine from fishing vessels and 229 kilograms of heroin from air cargo shipments, Lin said.

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Part of the 424 kilograms of ketamine and 302 kilograms of ephedrine recently seized is displayed in Taipei, yesterday. The haul was a collaborative effort between the Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Coast Guard Administration. (CNA)



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