A French man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking and selling drugs in Taiwan, investigators said on Monday.
Based on an informant’s tip, investigators caught the suspect handing a backpack to a Taiwanese man on Thursday last week that contained 1.5kg of heroin worth about NT$60 million (US$1.99 million), according to the Bureau of Investigation.
The bureau identified the Frenchman as Eric Jacobs, saying that he lives and teaches English in Thailand, and frequently travels around Southeast Asia.
Investigators confiscated the backpack when they arrested the Taiwanese man near the Taipei Railway Station that same day, the bureau said, adding that they then tracked down Jacobs and seized US$10,000 he had on his person that they suspect was payment for the drugs.
Both men have been handed over to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office and are being held in custody without bail after a court agreed to prosecutors’ request to detain them, the bureau said.
According to investigators, international drug trafficking rings have in recent years recruited more backpackers from Europe and the US to smuggle drugs into the country, taking advantage of the generally positive profiles people of those nationalities have with border control and customs units.