Ma vows to step up fight on illegal drugs

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan and China will step up cooperation in anti-drug efforts, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.

In a meeting with members of the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau and the Coast Guard Administration (CGA), Ma said drug enforcement efforts will never end, and cooperation between Taiwan and China on the issue has been enhanced as part of cross-strait collaboration on crime prevention.

“With the improvement of cross-strait relations, the two sides have had some success in combating crime, including the exchange of information on illegal narcotics. We believe that such cooperation will make anti-drug efforts more efficient,” Ma said at the Presidential Office.

The ministry and the CGA seized about 80kg of heroin, worth nearly NT$2 billion (US$66.8 million), from a Taiwanese fishing boat in August last year, after the vessel was intercepted in the Bashi Channel and brought to Kaohsiung in the biggest trafficking case in a decade.

The president applauded the ministry and the CGA for their work and promised that the government will dedicate more effort to the fight against drugs.

“Anti-drug efforts and drug enforcement require endless effort. We need to block the supply chain of drugs through tough drug enforcement measures and promote anti-drug campaigns to reduce the consumption of drugs,” he said.

As part of the government’s pledge to combat drugs, the Executive Yuan has cracked down on the sale and use of ketamine, especially around campuses.

Premier Sean Chen also instructed the Ministry of Education to conduct urine tests on students with convictions for drug use.

Ma said the campaign will target drug dealers and those who transport ketamine with heavy punishments, and stressed that the government will focus on the fight against ketamine in seeking to eliminate use of the drug.