Sun, Feb 05, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Hengchun police detain alleged drug-using teens

By Tsai Tsung-hsien  /  Staff Reporter

A group of young people were detained by police in Hengchun (恆春), Pingtung County, on Friday for allegedly holding a drug party that they organized via Facebook under the guise of a “reunion.”

Twenty-three people, with the oldest aged 25, were detained by police after they raided the residence of one of the members early on Thursday, allegedly discovering several banned drugs, including ecstasy pills and ketamine hydrochloride, commonly known by its street name “special K.”

Police said about half of the alleged drug users had dropped out of school, while the others were junior or senior high school students currently on their winter breaks.

Police said school acquaintances used Facebook to invite the students to attend the party during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Police said more than 30 local students and youngsters participated in the raided party and that the group had held several ecstasy parties since the Lunar New Year holidays.

Participants paid between NT$600 to NT$1,000 to join the parties. The money was used as a “drug fund” to purchase ketamine, police said.

Police said they were “taken by surprise” to see a gang of -teenagers using the popular social networking site as contact channel to organize drug-fueled parties.

Police said when an undercover officer first established contact with one of the alleged drug users involved in the case, surnamed Huang (黃), he was instructed by Huang to check his Facebook page to learn about “la ka (拉腳) parties” — slang in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) with phonetic resemblance to the term for using ketamine.

The undercover officer, after befriending Huang on the Facebook page, said he was shocked to find the popular “event” feature on Facebook was used to promote drug parties under the guise of a “reunion.”

At the police station, the alleged drug users appeared nonchalant as they waited to be questioned by police, while their worried parents waited outside.

“This concerned us,” one police officer said, adding that it made him worry whether drug use had permeated schools in Hengchun.

In light of the incident, -Hengchun Precinct chief Hsu Sung-chia (許頌嘉) said the police force would enhance its anti-drug efforts in schools after the winter break in a bid to stamp out drug use ahead of the upcoming Spring Scream event, an annual rock festival that will be held in nearby Kenting (墾丁) in less than two months.

Translated by Stacy Hsu, Staff Writer

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