Fri, Jun 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese accused of drug smuggling detained in Thailand

Staff writer, with CNA

Two Taiwanese men have been arrested in Thailand for allegedly attempting to smuggle narcotics, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, adding that it would provide them with assistance.

The two were arrested a day earlier and are being detained, ministry deputy spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.

“We will continue to keep in contact with the Thai authorities on the case,” Lee said.

The ministry has notified the families of the two men and will provide assistance if they want to travel to Thailand, Lee said.

If necessary, the ministry will also assist them in finding lawyers, he added.

Lee was responding to reports that the men, aged 21 and 22, were arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on suspicion of attempting to smuggle 12kg of crystal methamphetamine to Auckland, New Zealand.

The drugs were found in their luggage, the reports said.

The men reportedly arrived in Thailand about a week ago.

Lee urged Taiwanese travelers not to carry unknown or illegal items abroad.

Drug smuggling is considered a felony in Thailand and people convicted on such charges face up to 20 years in jail or even the death penalty, he added.

He said that there are about 156 Taiwanese imprisoned in Thailand, most of whom have been convicted of drug trafficking or smuggling.

Thai authorities often grant pardons to inmates when the country celebrates birthdays of members of the Thai royal family or other major holidays, he added.

Applications for pardons need to be filed ahead of the occasions, he said, adding that the requirements include good behavior in prison and having served a certain period of time in jail.

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