Customs Office seizes cash
The Taipei Customs Office confiscated HK$975,000 (US$124,915) in undeclared cash from a tourist arriving from Macau at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Monday, a customs officer said on Wednesday. The officer said customs officials found the money in the tourist's carry-on baggage. The maximum permitted amount that can be brought in undeclared is US$10,000 in foreign currency or NT$60,000 in local currency. The case marked Taiwan's seventh confiscation of undeclared currency. Of the seven cases, two involved local currency -- one case of NT$13.87 million and the other of NT$10.13 million in undeclared cash. Five other cases involved foreign currency, with a total of NT$26.66 million confiscated, the officer said.
Fossil remains of a mastodon calf were recently discovered in the dry riverbed of Dajia River (大甲溪) near Shihkang Village (石崗) in Taichung County, sources at the Taichung Mountainview Community University reported yesterday. They also noted that the discovery marks the first time that local archaeologists have found proof that Taiwan was once home to the prehistoric elephant species, which is estimated to have existed from about 28 million years ago to 10,000 years ago. Mastodon fossils have been unearthed in the past in various areas in the Northern Hemisphere, including in northern China, Europe, and North America. However, they had never been found in this region before the recent discovery which makes the find remarkable, according to the university. The fossil teeth discovered have been verified as having belonged to a young calf that lived in the area sometime between 1.5 million and 1.8 million years ago.
TSU wants bib crackdown
The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday urged the government to crack down on lead-contaminated vinyl baby bibs from China which may pose a health threat to children. TSU spokeswoman Chou Mei-li (周美里) said that US toy giant Toys "R" Us removed all store-brand vinyl baby bibs from its store shelves across the US last Friday after tests confirmed that some of the Chinese-made items contained excessive levels of lead. Some 160,000 bibs -- marketed under the Koala Baby, Especially for Baby and Kidcosmic labels -- were taken off store shelves at Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us outlets across the US, Chou said. A Taiwan Toys "R" Us source said yesterday that its stores had not sold any of the lead-contaminated toys that had been pulled from store shelves in the US.
Banned substance detected
A pig in Taichung County has tested positive for the antibiotic chloramphenicol, the Taichung County livestock disease control center said yesterday. The concentration of chloramphenicol in the pig was 1.44 parts per billion. Huang Kwo-ching (黃國青), director of the animal health inspection division at the bureau of animal and plant health inspection and quarantine, said chloraphnical has been banned as a feed additive since 2002. "Only one animal was found to contain chloramphenicol residue. The amount detected was minute," Huang said. The owner of the feed lot could face fines of NT$6,000 to NT$30,000 under the Veterinary Drugs Control Act (動物用藥品管理法), he said.
Police nab wholesaler
A wholesaler in Taipei has been arrested for suspected distribution of counterfeit fashion goods to retailers in southern Taiwan, police sources said yesterday. Members of a police squad formed to protect intellectual property rights and crack down on commercial piracy found more than 1,000 items of fake brand-name fashion goods during a raid on a storehouse owned by the wholesaler in the Wufenpu (五分埔) shopping area in Taipei City's Songshan district, the sources said. A large amount of boutique clothing, sportswear and handbags carrying various fake brand-name labels, including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Levi's, Chanel and Burberry, were seized in the raid.