The Taiwan High Court sentenced a Canadian man to five years in prison on Monday for smuggling cannabis into Taiwan via express delivery in April last year.
The court said in its ruling that Robertsen Kory David, 30, accepted US$1,500 from Briton Michael Richardson to smuggle the marijuana for him.
David bought 2kg of cannabis in Canada on April 18 last year, put it it in a cat food bag and had it sent by an international express delivery service to his address in Taiwan.
The company's screening unit at Taoyuan International Airport reported the case to Aviation Police after discovering that the bag contained cannabis.
Plainclothes police officers disguised as delivery workers delivered the package to David's residence and arrested him as soon as he signed the receipt and took possession of the package.
During questioning and District and High Court proceedings, David had confessed to smuggling the drugs.
Prosecutors sought a 15 year prison sentence, but the Taipei District Court gave him 10 years.
The Taiwan High Court ruled that although Davis had received US$1,500 as payment for smuggling the cannabis, this could not be construed as his having had the intention of selling the drug.
Describing the 2kg of cannabis involved in the case as "not a small amount," the court said that the offense could not be compared with drug traffickers who smuggle far larger quantities of drugs.
The court also took note of the fact that David was not a professional criminal and that he was remorseful about what he had done. As a result, the court decided to reduce his sentence to five years.
Cannabis is listed as a Class B drug. Anyone convicted of trafficking Class B drugs faces from seven years to life in prison.