Heroin seized at airport
About 2.2kg of heroin was found in an imported hot dog machine at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Friday, the Aviation Police Bureau and Customs Administration said yesterday. The heroin, worth more than NT$10 million (US$324,717), was in six bags in the package, authorities said. Police would not reveal the origin of the package. Police tracked down the recipient of the package, a man surnamed Wu (吳), in Kaohsiung. Wu has been referred to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office in terms of the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).
Suspects going to China
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed regret at a plan by Spain to deport a group of Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects to China. In a Cabinet meeting on Friday, the Spanish government accepted Beijing’s request to extradite 269 Taiwanese and Chinese arrested in Spain for their suspected involvement in telecom fraud, the ministry said. The decision has infringed upon the rights of the Taiwanese suspects and defies the European tradition of humanism, the ministry said. The suspects were arrested in December last year in a joint operation between Spain and China, and more than 200 of the 269 suspects are Taiwanese, the ministry said. The government has been negotiating with Spain in the past two months in the hope that the Taiwanese suspects could be extradited to Taiwan, but Spain did not reply to the request, the ministry said.
Lantern festival to stay lit
Yunlin County’s Beigang Township (北港) lantern display is to continue until April 19, despite the end of the 2017 Taiwan Lantern Festival today, Beigang Township Mayor Chang Sheng-chih (張勝智) said yesterday. The county government decided that all lanterns on display in Beigang will be preserved, Chang said, adding that extending the display will allow visitors to take part in annual events celebrating the birthday of the sea goddess Matsu at Beigang’s Chaotian Temple. Matsu’s birthday falls on April 19 this year. This year’s lantern festival was held in two areas in Yunlin — at the main venue in Huwei Township (虎尾) from Sunday last week to today and in Beigang from Feb. 7 to today. The county government said that the lantern display in Huwei could be extended due to contract restrictions and a workforce shortage.
Suspected fraudsters nabbed
Eight suspects were arrested in connection with alleged telecom fraud in which a Chinese professor was swindled out of more than 18 million yuan (US$2.62 million), Taichung police said on Thursday. Police said the 54-year-old professor, identified only by her surname, Huang (黃), was targeted by the suspects in July last year. The alleged mastermind behind the group, surnamed Liu (劉), and his accomplices posed as the prosecutor-general of the Chinese Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the highest national agency responsible for investigation and prosecution in China. Police said some of the money was withdrawn using ATMs in Taiwan, while the remainder was transferred online, with the address linked to Taiwan. China solicited Taiwan’s assistance in tracking down the fraud ring in accordance with a cross-strait agreement on judicial assistance and combating crime.
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
SEEKING OPTIONS: A Sinyi Realty corporate realty official attributed the spike to proposed legal changes in the territory and the ongoing pro-democracy protests More Hong Kongers purchased real estate in Taiwan last year than other foreigners, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed. The ministry attributed the spike to a proposed extradition law that the Hong Kong government submitted last year, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to China and other nations, which sparked mass protests that are continuing. The rate of purchases last year by Hong Kong natural and juridical persons stood at 40 and 60 percent respectively, with building area purchased by both standing at 47.41 percent and 52.59 percent respectively, ministry data showed. Department of Land Administration statistics showed that Hong Kongers
ZERO TOLERANCE: National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin said that he ordered Kaohsiung police to investigate reports of planned voter intimidation Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) yesterday denounced the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for asking people not to vote in a recall poll against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), while National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) called on police to follow up on reports that gangsters are planning to intimidate voters. Yen said that in an effort to save Han, the KMT has mobilized all of its members, who have increasingly tried to prevent Kaohsiung residents from exercising their right to vote in the poll on Saturday next week. She called on Kaohsiung residents to have the courage
Taipei is to reopen public facilities starting on Monday next week under three conditions, and allow indoor and outdoor events with fewer than 250 and 1,000 people respectively, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) yesterday. The three conditions are practicing social distancing measures or wearing a mask if the proper distance cannot be kept, enforcing a real-name registration system for indoor activities and prohibiting meal sharing, Huang said. All municipal facilities would resume operations under those principles, with the exception of school campuses, she said. School campuses at high-school level and below would remain closed to the public to protect student health, but