Defense Ministry asked to conduct ‘thorough checks’ after drug find

Taipei--Premier Lin Chuan (??) instructed the Ministry of National Defense Thursday to conduct "thorough checks" on the military as part of heightened anti-drug efforts, following a recent case in which drugs were found at an air force base in Taichung.

During a weekly Cabinet meeting, Lin said the military is an important pillar in maintaining national security and stability in society, and that military discipline should be reinforced. Drug abuse is absolutely not allowed in the military, he added.

He asked the Defense Ministry to carry out thorough checks on all military units and to investigate the case in which several small packages of drugs were discovered at Ching Chuan Kang air base in Taichung, central Taiwan on Monday.

The case has since been handed over to Taichung prosecutors for further investigation. Taichung prosecutors said Thursday that they found 51 small packages of white powder that was identified as amphetamine in an initial test.

There are about 3,000 military personnel at the air base and 87.1 percent of them had been tested as of Thursday morning, the Air Force said. Among them, 20 servicemen tested positive in initial testing, but their samples are undergoing further tests to determine whether they had taken drugs, it said.

During the Cabinet meeting, Lin also told the Ministry of Justice to review the existing anti-drug measures and to come up with a new anti-drug campaign by March 15, citing the drug find at the air force base and another incident in which a model died after taking drugs at a party in a Taipei hotel room last December.

Law enforcement agencies should also heighten their anti-drug efforts, Lin said.

He also issued a directive to the Ministry of Health and Welfare to strengthen its reporting mechanism of new types of narcotics.

The Ministry of Education should strengthen its anti-drug campaigns on campus, and all schools should hold sessions within a month to teach students about new forms of drugs and urge them to stay away from them, Lin said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel