Sat, Feb 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Premier commends drug raids, promises harsher punishment

Staff writer, with CNA

A series of drug raids carried out across the nation from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5 seized more than 4,000kg of illicit drugs, reinforcing the Cabinet’s determination to further prioritize its anti-drug campaign by providing more resources and introducing harsher punishments, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday.

According to data provided by the Cabinet, the raids, which involved local police officers, Investigation Bureau personnel, the Coast Guard Administration and the military police, resulted in the arrest of 431 suspects, uncovered 11 illegal drug production sites and confiscated about NT$7.98 million (US$272,299) linked to drug-related crimes, as well as a fishing boat and seven cars.

Lai said at an event to publicize the success of the operation that it was the largest drug raid ever in the nation and congratulated the 36 units of police officers and government officials who helped ensure it was a success.

What made the raids different from those undertaken in the past was their scope, enlisting not only the assistance of different local government agencies, but also building and community security officers to raid residential areas where drug use was most likely taking place, Lai said.

The raids focused equally on catching drug users, producers and distributors, he added.

The Cabinet is committed to cracking down on drug-related activities and has promised to provide NT$10 billion in funding to related agencies to ensure they have enough personnel and the proper equipment, he said.

The Cabinet would propose amending existing laws to include harsher punishments for the manufacture and sale of illicit drugs, he added.

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