Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) Police announced Friday that they had busted a drug-smuggling ring thanks to information exchanges between local police and their Japanese counterparts.
Police said they arrested the mastermind of the ring, a 64-year-old surnamed Yang, along with four of his subordinates, in the departure lounge at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport the previous afternoon, as well as three drug mules, including a 29-year-old disabled woman.
Police also seized 559.5 grams of amphetamine the mules had hidden inside their body cavities.
Yang had previously been sentenced to 15 years in prison for heroin smuggling by Taipei Shihlin District Court in 2007, police said. However, he fled into a mountainous area in Shihting, Taipei County, and was put on the wanted list.
Police said Yang would often find street people to serve as the ring's drug mules, paying them between NT$50,000 (US$1,560) and NT$200,000 for each run, depending on the volume of each shipment.
They said that Yang would arrange for his subordinate, Lin, who is familiar with the Tokyo drug market, to keep a close watch on the drug mules during their time in Japan, and would then take them back to Taiwan after they had made their deliveries.
According to the police, between February and May, six mules working for the ring were arrested after arriving in Japan, with the Japanese authorities seizing 4.6 kg of amphetamine in total.
The smuggling came to the attention of police after TV celebrity Juan Mu-hua complained that he and other members of a Taiwanese tour group were detained at a Japanese airport in early March after two members of the group were caught smuggling drugs. The two were later found to be members of Yang's ring.
Police said Taiwan-produced amphetamine, due to its high degree of purity, can sell for NT$20,000 per gram in Japan, almost double the price sold in Taiwan.
By Johnson Sun and Lilian Wu
Posted: 2010/08/13 18:12:20
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.