Police last month uncovered a shipment of 100,000 9mm bullets mixed into a shipment of trapshooting shotgun shells to be delivered to Taichung, drawing concern from national security agencies over the timing of the find, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported yesterday.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) received an anonymous tip informing it that a company that has permits to import guns and knives had attempted to smuggle in the 9mm bullets with a legitimate delivery of ammunition from Cyprus, the report said.
The company was commissioned by a shooting range in Taichung that ordered 100,000 shotgun shells, the report said, adding that were it not for the tip, customs officials would not have suspected there was anything wrong with the shipment.
Photo provided by the Criminal Investigation Bureau via CNA
The CIB at 11am yesterday told a news conference that it had made a record seizure of illegal ammunition.
The shipment arrived on Oct. 29 at the warehouse, where the CIB conducted a search and found the illegal ammunition, the CIB said.
While the order was for 100,000 shotgun shells, the shipment contained only 83,300, with the leftover space filled with 9mm bullets, it said.
The shipment has been confiscated and the company official in charge of the shipment, surnamed Chen (陳), has been summoned for questioning, the bureau said, adding that it has also asked a district court to detain him.
The Liberty Times quoted national security officials as saying that the case prompted concern amid a protracted US election and the increased frequency of Chinese military airplanes entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
It is possible that illegal arms dealers in Taiwan attempted to smuggle in the bullets, as they recognize that there is a falloff in performance when pairing improvised firearms with non-standard-issue bullets, the report quoted officials as saying.
While improvised firearms are comparatively easy to make or acquire, making bullets requires specialized knowledge and equipment, making it rare in Taiwan, the report said, citing police officials.
Prosecutors and the police are looking into the possibility that the bullets were among a series of packages that entered customs separately to reduce the possibility of attracting attention, the report said.
Additional reporting by CNA
Citigroup Inc plans to exit retail banking in 13 markets across Asia, and the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The bank would instead operate its consumer-banking franchise in both regions from four wealth centers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London, it said yesterday in a statement. The move is part of an ongoing review of the company’s strategy by chief executive officer Jane Fraser, who took over last month. “This positions us to capture the strong growth and attractive returns the wealth-management business offers through these important hubs,” Fraser said. Citigroup is to exit its consumer
‘IMPORTANT PARTNER’: The new guidelines aim to encourage US engagement with Taiwan, which reflects a deepening relationship, the US Department of State said The US Department of State on Friday issued new guidelines governing US officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move welcomed by Taipei as turning a new page in bilateral relations. Shortly before leaving office, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous contact guidelines, which he said were “self-imposed restrictions” that attempted to appease the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing. However, the status of the guidelines has been unclear since US President Joe Biden entered the White House. Asked about the issue during a legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu
CONFIDENTIAL: The trip had not been made public until just before ex-senator Chris Dodd, and ex-state department officials Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived The government yesterday welcomed an “unofficial” delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, while another delegation led by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was headed to Shanghai. Biden’s first delegation to Taiwan is made up of former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg. They are to stay in Taiwan until tomorrow. Their arrival, on a chartered flight, had been kept confidential until media reported the visit yesterday morning, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short notice that they were expected to arrive at 2:40pm. The flight landed at
‘IDEAL FIT’: A report on Sunday said that the Canadian government threatened to pull its support and funding from the HFX if the award was given to the president The government would respect the decision of the organizer of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service on whether it plans to award a prize to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The statement was issued after US Web site Politico reported a day earlier that the Canadian government had warned the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) not to give the award to Tsai for fear of provoking Beijing. “The ministry believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both