No charges for US man caught with ammo at airport

PACKING MISHAP::Prosecutors said there was no evidence to contradict his story that he had forgotten the ammunition in his bag

By Cheng Shu-ting and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Mar 23, 2019 - Page 2

The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday decided not to charge a US citizen arrested on Nov. 14 last year at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for having 100 rounds of ammunition in his carry-on backpack.

Yu, a US citizen of Taiwanese descent, was reportedly boarding a flight to Vancouver, Canada, when airport police discovered two boxes in his backpack, each containing 50 rounds of .22 long rifle rimfire ammunition.

The ammunition can be used in rifles and handguns. It is popular for target practice and among small-game hunters, but is regarded as too low-powered for other applications.

The man said he bought the ammunition legally from an outdoor supply shop near his home in Washington State, carried it to a range for recreational shooting and forgot about it, later using the same pack to travel, police said.

Yu said that he had removed other boxes of ammunition from his pack prior to his flight, but missed the remaining two and provided a receipt as evidence, the police report said.

The prosecutors’ office said it decided not to press charges against Yu, as criminal intent to smuggle ammunition into the nation could not be proven.

Yu was carrying an oversized backpack with no internal compartments and it was plausible that the small boxes could have been overlooked when he was cleaning out the pack’s contents, as Yu had claimed, the office said.

That the boxes were full and showed no sign of disturbance seemed to imply that they had never been opened or used, which supported Yu’s sworn statement, the office said.