Sat, Apr 06, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Taipei police detain 14 people, seize 12kg of cannabis

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taipei police yesterday announced that they had detained 14 people and seized 12kg of cannabis products following a series of raids in northern Taiwan.

The suspects — including a high-school student in New Taipei City — are facing charges of contravening the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例), police said.

A 36-year-old Taoyuan man, surnamed Lee (李), is the suspected ringleader of the cannabis sales network, they said.

“It was one of the largest marijuana hauls we have had,” said Wanhua Police Precinct Chief Chang Po-jung (張伯榮), who estimated its street value at NT$6.96 million (US$225,849).

The investigation started after police in January found a member of the military in possession of 40g of cannabis and began searching for his suppliers.

After more than two months of surveillance, police last month raided several places in the greater Taipei area and Taoyuan.

Lee is allegedly the organizer of the cannabis supply chain, with the other suspects working as local suppliers in their neighborhoods, Chang said.

“We raided places owned by Lee in Taoyuan and found that some were used for storing cannabis,” Chang said.

Police also confiscated a modified handgun, allegedly belonging to Lee, Chang said.

Of the 12kg seized, the majority was dried marijuana used for smoking, while the rest were cannabis oil and refined cannabis products.

“These cannabis products do not harm people. They are for medicinal purposes, used to alleviate pain and treat diseases,” one of the suspects was quoted as saying.

Chang said that cannabis and its derivative products are illegal Category 2 narcotic drugs under the law, and consumption of such products is punishable by up to three years in prison.

People convicted of trafficking cannabis products can be sentenced to between seven years and life in prison, and fined a maximum of NT$10 million, Chang added.

In related news, members of the group 420 Taiwan announced that they would hold a rally in Taipei on April 20 to promote “Healthy Cannabis Day.”

The group advocates legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use, citing its legalization in Canada, Uruguay and many US states.

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