Basketball star Chang Tsung-hsien (張宗憲) of the Formosa Dreamers was questioned by Taipei prosecutors yesterday in connection with cannabis allegedly found in an e-cigarette during a vehicle check.
Chang was in a taxi on Taipei’s Fuxing N Road (復興北路) early yesterday morning when police officers conducting vehicle checks found an e-cigarette containing cannabis, reportedly in Chang’s possession, Taipei police said.
Chang was taken to a police station to make a statement and then transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning.
Prosecutors said that Chang would be charged with illegal possession of a category 2 drug in contravention of the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).
Chang was quoted as saying that a friend gave him the e-cigarette as a gift at a private party and he did not know that it contained cannabis, but smoked it out of curiosity.
He denied being a habitual cannabis user.
Chang provided samples for testing for illegal drug use and was released after questioning, but restricted to his home during further investigation.
The 31-year-old, also known as Jet Chang, has been a star player this season for the Formosa Dreamers, a Changhua County-based franchise in the ASEAN Basketball League.
After graduating from high school in Taiwan, he traveled to the US and played for Brigham Young University-Hawaii in the National Collegiate Athletic Association using the name Jet Chang.
He then played for the Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association, followed by a season with Kia Carnival in the Philippines.
He returned to Taiwan in 2016 to play for the Fubon Braves in the Super Basketball League, before joining the Formosa Dreamers.
Formosa Dreamers chairman Chang Cheng-chung (張承中) in a statement yesterday said that Chang Tsung-hsien had been suspended from the team.
The team would not terminate his contract and instead help him with his rehabilitation, the statement added.
In related news, Taipei police yesterday said that its officers fired 28 gun shots during the pursuit of a drug suspect at about 4am yesterday.
The officers pursued a vehicle with three passengers driven by a male surnamed Cheng (鄭), 40, after it did not stop for a check near Taipei Flora Expo Park, police said, adding that the vehicle rammed a police vehicle before speeding off.
After two officers were injured, police said they discharged their handguns at the vehicle’s tires before calling for backup.
Cheng’s vehicle was stopped by another police vehicle shortly afterward, and Cheng and the three passengers were arrested, police said.
A woman in the vehicle surnamed Hung (洪), 33, who was already wanted on drugs charges, was allegedly found in possession of 2.54g of heroin, police said.
Police said the investigation was continuing and they were also questioning the other two passengers, a man surnamed Lin (林), 38, and a woman surnamed Li (黎), 36.
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