Sun, Aug 28, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Coast Guard nabs English teachers in drug-ring bust


Covering his head, a young Taiwanese-American man named Su Sheng-hsi is led away by Keelung police yesterday. He was arrested on suspicion of having sold drugs with the help of the Internet.


The Coast Guard Administration's Keelung mobile-investigation team yesterday arrested an international drug smuggling ring based in Neihu (內湖) allegedly led by a Canadian who teaches English in Taiwan, a Central News Agency (CNA) report said.

Seven other foreign nationals and three Taiwanese Americans were also arrested in connection with the drug ring.

Many of the suspects worked as English-language teachers, the report said.

The ring smuggled drugs into the country inside textbooks and sold them to foreign students and returning Taiwanese students from overseas in pubs and other night spots, as well as over the Internet.

Members of the Coast Guard Administration were able to bust the drug dealers yesterday after three months of surveillance when they spotted a Taiwanese American man, Su Sheng-hsi (蘇聖喜), walking out of a building after he allegedly bought drugs.

The coast guard team saw their opportunity and arrested Su.

Then they sent Su back upstairs as bait and managed to arrest the alleged "king pin" of the ring, who they identified as Forand Mathieu James, a Canadian teacher.

Other alleged ring members from Canada, Australia and Hong Kong were also arrested.

James had spent two years in Taiwan working as an English teacher, the CNA report said, adding that in addition to selling many kinds of drugs, he had also collected drug-related books.

The coast guards found 600g of cocaine, some marijuana and hundreds of ecstasy pills on site.

The report said both James and Su were being held in custody for violating drug regulations. The others were released after agreeing to serve as witnesses.

The Coast Guard is currently investigating if there are any more people involved.

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