The Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau (MJIB) announced that they detained a man trying to smuggle three handguns into the country, which are allegedly sought after by gangsters.
A bureau spokesperson said the three firearms were advanced semi-automatic handguns — one German-made Walther P99 pistol, one Austrian-made Glock pistol and an Israeli-made IMI Desert Eagle pistol.
Officials at the MJIB’s Marine Affairs Field Office in Kaohsiung said they had been monitoring drug-trafficking gangs in the south in recent months, and were informed about a possible firearm smuggling operation.
Photo: Huang Chien-hua, Taipei Times
The ship involved is a Marshall Islands-registered cargo ship named Aruna Ipsa.
It is operated by Wan Hai Lines shipping company and its captain is a Chinese national, as are most if its crew.
The Aruna Ipsa docked at Kaohsiung Harbor’s No. 77 Pier on Friday last week after making stops on a recent voyage in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China, and Manila.
A 54-year-old suspect was said to be seen entering the ship at night on Friday last week as cargo containers were being unloaded, emerging from the vessel with a backpack containing the smuggled firearms.
Bureau agents, joined by customs officers, harbor police and military police units, arrested the suspect as he prepared to leave the harbor’s parking lot.
Along with the three pistols, agents found 89 rounds of ammunition in the suspect’s backpack.
According to Chung Ta-chen (鍾達振), the deputy chief of Marine Affairs Field Office in Kaohsiung, the weapons are in high demand and each pistol can fetch about NT$800,000 to NT$1 million (US$25,616 to US$32,020) on the black market, while rounds of ammunition could be sold for up to NT$500,000.
Chung said the suspect was a member of a drug-trafficking gang and had previous convictions related to possession of drugs and firearms.
Chung said the firearms were picked up from the ship using the “dead drop” method, with a crew member placing the contraband into a designated trash can in the washroom next to the ship’s staircase for the suspect to pick up.
The suspect was being detained for questioning, and authorities fingerprinted all the ship’s crew members.
TENSE SITUATION: If the storm does not bring rain, Taiwan might have to wait until next month amid water scarcity in the center and south, an expert said Typhoon Surigae is to bring rain to the nation’s east coast and mountainous areas in central and southern Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. As of 2pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 1,170km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Taiwan’s southernmost tip. The radius of the storm was 280km, and it was moving northwest at 9kph, with a maximum wind speed of 198kph. The bureau forecasts that the storm would switch to a northerly direction when approaching the east coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines on Wednesday, CWB forecaster Lin Ding-yi (林定宜) said, adding that Surigae would
SEEKING CLARITY: Some members of the US delegation asked KMT legislators in a meeting to address their party’s position on the so-called ‘1992 consensus,’ sources said A US delegation tasked by US President Joe Biden to reaffirm the country’s commitment to its partnership with Taiwan yesterday wrapped up a three-day visit to Taipei. Former US senator Chris Dodd, former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, and US Department of State Office of Taiwan Coordination Director Dan Biers departed at 11:20am on a private jet. The members of the delegation, all friends of Biden, arrived on Wednesday and met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and other government officials. During the three-day visit, the delegation also met with six members of the Legislative
Taipei’s street names should reflect a “Taiwanese spirit,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said in an online video released yesterday, in which he asked why many of them are named after locations in China. In a three-minute video uploaded to a Facebook page called “Taiwanese Uncle Ko Wen-je” (台灣阿北柯文哲), the mayor suggested changing the names of Taipei streets. The page’s banner was a photograph of Ko on Jade Mountain’s (玉山) main peak. The page was closed at about noon, about four hours after it was made public. Ko said that street names in the capital named “Ningxia,” “Tibet,” “Beiping” — an old name for
‘AN EXCUSE’: The intent of Beijing’s incursions was ‘intimidation and coercion,’ a senior US official said, adding that China was using the US to justify its actions Chinese carrier drills and stepped-up incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the past few weeks are meant to send a message to Washington to stand down and back off, security sources in Taipei said. The increased activity — which China, unusually, described as “combat drills” on Wednesday — has raised alarm in both Taipei and Washington, although security officials do not see it as a sign of an imminent attack. Rather, at least some of the exercises are practicing “access denial” maneuvers to prevent foreign forces from coming to Taipei’s defense in a war, one official familiar with Taiwan’s security