Mon, Apr 09, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Police bust revelers on party boat

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Police late on Saturday night discovered more than 20 revelers using Ketamine and other drugs on a tour boat on its return to Kenting.

The vice chief of the Pingtung Police Department, Liu Sheng-yuan (劉勝元), told reporters that there had been a "crazy party" on the boat, with bottles of alcohol everywhere on the deck of the vessel.

The boat departed from Kenting on Saturday afternoon on a cruise around the area.

Participants were mostly attracted by an advertisement on an organizers' Web site promising an "orgy at sea."

The boat departed from Houpihu near Kenting at 4pm before returning late on Saturday.

Acting on a tip, police met the party-goers on their return to Kenting.

Liu said 28 young women and 27 young men were taken to a police station to undergo urine tests.

Following the tests, it was discovered that at least 22 of them were suspected of using drugs on the boat.

Liu said two men were found processing Ketamine and other "minor" illegal narcotics.

Internet

Police said that the 56 individuals had jointly rented the boat, with most of them learning about the party via friends or from information on the Internet.

The official said that most of them had attended the Spring Scream music festival in Kenting.

Liu said that because police had strictly cracked down on drug use at this year's Spring Scream, the revelers might have thought a sea party would be "safer."

A total of 120 people were nabbed for drug use or pedaling at the four-day music festival in Kenting, Pingtung County, Liu said yesterday.

This year's annual festival, which concluded yesterday, featured pop music acts and drew tens of thousands of fans.

It was touted as the biggest ever since its launch 13 years ago. It also saw the largest number of participants arrested for illegal drug use, according to police.

Since the annual Spring Scream is notorious for drug use, more than 500 police officers had been keeping a close eye on partygoers this year in an effort to control the use of illegal substances.

Police set up checkpoints at the entrances of concert sites and searched audience members' belongings for concealed drugs.

Dogs and high-tech equipment were also used to sniff out drugs, and police conducted searches of hotels in the area to root out drug users.

Criminal offense

The Narcotics Endangerment Prevention Act (毒品危害防治條例) stipulates that selling or transporting drugs classified as class-three drugs -- also called "minor" drugs such as Ketamine -- is a criminal offense, but those caught using the drugs do not face criminal charges.

Additionally they cannot be forced to undergo treatment for drug abuse.

But minor drug users do face a fine.

The drugs seized by police at the festival included Ketamine, ecstasy pills, Erinim pills and marijuana, police said.

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