English Kaohsiung resident indicted for heroin trafficking

Taipei, The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Thursday held a press conference to detail its role in the arrest of an English resident of Kaohsiung, who was recently indicted on suspicion of working with international drug traffickers to smuggle heroin through the mail and sell it in Taiwan.

an officer in the bureau's International Criminal Affairs Division, announced that 56-year-old Nathan Garrett and two Taiwanese suspects were charged following an investigation conducted in conjunction with Thailand's Narcotics Suppression Bureau.

On Oct. 18 last year, he said, police in Thailand's southern Phatthalung Province busted an international drug trafficking ring, which was preparing to air mail 9.65 kilograms of heroin to Taiwan by concealing it in containers of durian paste.

Following an investigation, the CIB confirmed that the intended recipient of the packages in Taiwan was Garrett, a longtime resident of Southeast Asia who entered Taiwan from Vietnam in February last year, Lee said.

Since arriving in Taiwan, Garrett had been living in Kaohsiung's Cianjhen District and working as an English teacher in Pingtung's Chaojau Township, having received multiple visa extensions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee said.

After the CIB confirmed Garrett's identity, Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office assigned a team to monitor his movements and collect evidence related to the case.

On Nov. 14, the investigators tracked Garrett as he took delivery of an international parcel, and then traveled by High Speed Rail to Changhua, where they arrested him and two other suspects -- a man surnamed and a woman surnamed Chan during an alleged drug transaction, Lee said.

During the arrest, the authorities seized a handbag containing 17 bags of heroin, which weighed a combined 2.14 kilograms, he said, adding that Huang was also found to be carrying a Glock handgun, six bullets and NT$100,000 (US$3,521) in cash.

According to Lee, the drugs seized in the raids in the two countries likely had a street value of over NT$100 million.

Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office completed its investigation into the three suspects on March 11, and has charged them for suspected violations of the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, he said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel