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.
‘HIDDEN GEM’: The city earned plaudits for its low crime rate, world-class healthcare system, cheap cost of living and easy public transportation Taipei has been named the 10th best city in the world for quality of living in an annual survey by the editors of Monocle, a UK-based global affairs and lifestyle magazine. The survey, which is to be published in the magazine’s July/August issue, selected the world’s top 25 cities based on factors including cost of living, retail, hospitality, culture and access to green spaces, as well as feedback from Monocle correspondents. Taipei’s 10th place finish was one place down from a year earlier. The survey ranked Copenhagen as the world’s best city, with Zurich, Lisbon, Helsinki and Stockholm rounding out the top five.
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