Investigation Bureau officer detained in missing drugs probe

Taipei-An Investigation Bureau officer was detained and held incommunicado Tuesday as a suspect in the disappearance of a 6.5 kilogram package of amphetamines from Bureau custody in 2019.

Hsu Su-liang (???), who in 2019 was an officer in the Maritime Affairs Field Division's Keelung office, together with his wife, are being investigated on suspicion of violating the Anti-Corruption Act, the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

Investigation Bureau officers raided Hsu's residence and three other locations on Monday, where they discovered property believed to exceed his financial means. Passbooks, cash, designer bags, watches, and cars were seized, according to the statement.

Hsu, his wife surnamed Lee (?), and two family members were interrogated the same day, and an application for the couple to be detained incommunicado was granted by the court on Tuesday, said the statement.

The 6.5 kg package of amphetamine was originally seized by customs officers in March 2019 and transferred to the Maritime Affairs Field Division's office in Keelung. In November 2019, the package was sent to a laboratory for further examination but reportedly "lost in transit."

However, the drugs were only found to be missing following an audit in November 2020.

The authorities are trying to establish a connection between Hsu's property and the lost drugs. They declined to disclose further information, citing the ongoing investigation.

The prosecutors office rejected media reports that NT$50 million (US$1.75 million) in cash was confiscated during the raids on Monday.

In November 2020, the prosecutors office started investigating several Investigation Bureau officers in Keelung on suspicion of breaching the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act.

These included Lin Sheng-chih (???), Chang Meng-lin (???) and Cheng I (??), who was responsible for delivering the package, in addition to Hsu. The four were later released on bail but forbidden from leaving the country.

During a Legislative session on Nov. 19, Investigation Bureau Director-General Lu Wen-chung (???) acknowledged that the four suspects had given inconsistent accounts of what happened to the drugs.

The four officers were given urine tests but the results came back clean, according to the bureau.

As a result, six officers were demoted, including Hsu, who was transferred to the Maritime Affairs Field Division's office in Kaohsiung, but all four suspects continued to work at the bureau.

Following his detention Hsu has been suspended, Investigation Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang I-tsun (???) said on Wednesday.

Protocols for managing and delivering seized drugs have been improved following the incident. For example, 17 types of of drugs classified as Category 1 and 2 now have to be deposited in the "seized goods storage" room at a district prosecutors office within 24 hours.

In addition, any delivery of drugs classified as Category 2-4, including amphetamine, must be conducted by at least two officers, and the recipient is required to sign proof of receipt, the bureau said Wednesday.

All Investigation Bureau offices must have a storage room for confiscated goods and conduct an inventory every three months, it added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel