Premier Lin Chuan (林全) yesterday commended the law enforcement and Coast Guard Administration (CGA) officials who took part in the nation’s largest heroin seizure to date and reiterated the nation’s commitment to fighting drugs.
Kaohsiung preosecutors, investigators, police and CGA personnel on Friday seized 693kg of heroin, estimated to have a street value of about NT$10 billion (US$332 million), found on a fishing boat off Kinmen County.
Acting on a tip-off that a fishing boat registered to Pingtung was trying to smuggle drugs into the nation, the coast guard intercepted the boat 12.5 nautical miles (23.15km) southeast of Wuchiu Island (烏坵) and seized 1,800 bricks of heroin.
Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times
The boat’s captain and four other crew were arrested.
The informant is to be awarded NT$10 million in cash and law enforcement personnel taking part in the seizure are to share NT$6 million.
The heroin would be enough to make the nation’s 23 million people addicted if it were to enter the market, Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said yesterday.
According to ministry data, law enforcement agents seized 5,507.2kg of drugs from June last year to March, exceeding the total 4,840.2kg of drugs confiscated in 2015.
The government has rolled out new measures to fight drug trafficking and drug-related crimes, and a database to collate the known associates of drug users and traffickers is to be created to help law enforcement personnel predict and track dealers, Lin said.
Efforts have to be made to crack down on drug manufacturing and smuggling to reduce the supply of prohibited substances in the nation, he said.
“Cooperation between schools and the police has to be increased to minimize the risk of exposing young people to drug abuse. More importantly, addicted people will be given rehabilitation treatment so that they can have the opportunity to reintegrate into society,” Lin said.
“A coordinated effort against drug trafficking by the government and the public is necessary to put Taiwan on the map. Like the healthcare system, the nation’s achievements in fighting drug-related crimes should be known to the world,” he added.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37