More than 5 tonnes of illegal drugs and related materials have been seized at ports of entry to Taiwan in the first eight months of this year, with more than 90 percent of them coming from China or Southeast Asia, the Customs Administration said yesterday.
The agency, in cooperation with other domestic and foreign anti-narcotics agencies, confiscated 5,464.3kg of illegal drugs and related chemicals from January to last month, Customs Administration Director-General Hsieh Ling-yuan (謝鈴媛) told a news conference attended by officials from the nation’s six major anti-narcotics agencies.
The agencies are the High Prosecutors’ Office, the National Police Agency, the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau, the Military Police Command and the Coast Guard Administration.
According to Customs Administration statistics, 3,020.4kg, or 55.3 percent of the seized chemicals, came from Southeast Asian nations, with Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar the top three sources, accounting for 1,887.5kg (34.5 percent), 613.4kg (11.2 percent) and 318.4kg (5.8 percent), respectively.
A total of 2,079.2kg (38.1 percent) came from China, including Hong Kong, making it the biggest external source of illegal substances in Taiwan, the agency said.
The rest of the drugs were from the US, Canada and Europe, it added.
The most common illegal substances seized by customs officials were ketamine, amphetamines and heroin, with a market value of about NT$2 billion (US$63.7 million), agency officials said.
Hsieh said that her agency would step up its anti-narcotics efforts by deepening intelligence sharing with other agencies and neighboring nations, while deploying more advanced drug-detection instruments and X-ray devices and bolstering sniffer dog units.
In anti-drug operations conducted from July 22 to Aug. 5, personnel from the six local agencies seized 2,571kg of illegal drugs and raided 13 drug manufacturing plants, officials told the news conference, adding that 1,182 suspected drug dealers were arrested and more than NT$10 million in suspected illegal profits were confiscated.
Officials urged the public and civic groups to help the government’s anti-narcotics efforts by reporting suspicious drug-related activities to the authorities, and called on drug addicts to undergo rehabilitation.
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