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.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under
‘LONG OVERDUE’: The Republic of China is a military-political regime of the KMT that illegally occupied Taiwan, Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen said Independence advocates yesterday at a rally called on government leaders to “rectify” the nation’s official name as “Taiwan” as they denounced Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu’s (吳釗燮) remark of “not seeking formal ties with the US” during a media interview. Organized by Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵), the advocates chanted slogans, such as “Taiwan is not the Republic of China [ROC],” and held a banner that read: “If the nation’s title is not corrected as ‘Taiwan,’ how can it fully establish diplomatic relations with the US?” as they gathered outside Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei at