LATEST NEWS / TAIPEI – Taiwan has busted one of its biggest drug smuggling rings in recent years, which police said Monday was responsible for transporting $70 million worth of narcotics to Japan and other countries.
A total of nine suspects have been arrested, including the suspected leader of the ring, 40-year-old Fan Chu-lin, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said.
“This is definitely one of the largest smuggling rings to be uncovered in many years,” bureau official Yang Ming-chang told AFP.
Over a ten-year period, the group allegedly smuggled hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of ecstasy and amphetamines from Hong Kong and China to Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
It also smuggled large amounts of marijuana from Thailand and Holland into Taiwan.
According to preliminary estimates, the drugs smuggled by the group over the ten-year period totalled at least Tw$2 billion ($69.4 million), Yang said.
If convicted, Fan could face a minimum 20 years in jail under Taiwanese law.