Man arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs to Australia

Taiwan-A Taiwanese man was recently arrested for his alleged involvement in smuggling drugs to Australia, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said Tuesday.

The 26-year-old man, only identified by his surname Fan, was arrested on Jan. 5 after he was confirmed to be the driver of a truck that carried a batch of handbags to a warehouse in Taoyuan.

Some 500,000 tablets of the depressant nimetazepam, better known as Erimin, and 20 packs of ketamine (weighing about two kilograms), were found hidden in the handbag shipment, leading to the driver's arrest.

The handbags had been scheduled to be shipped to Malaysia on Jan. 6.

Fan claimed he was only hired to transport the drugs, the police said, and they indicated they will continue their investigation to track down Fan's accomplices.

The bureau launched the investigation after receiving information from Australian police about a shipment of handbags sent from Taiwan to Australia last June that contained 220 kgs of amphetamine.

During the months-long investigation, Fan was identified as a main suspect, the bureau said.

Fan was found to have driven a truck to transport "handbags" to the warehouse several times, and the handbags were being sent overseas from "Yu Yang" (??) trading company in Taiwan, the police said.

As the investigation proceeded, the police cooperated with customs officers to tighten inspections of the goods imported and exported by the trading company.

The police later launched a raid on Jan. 5 and found drugs hidden in the handbags being sent by the company. Fan was arrested later in the day.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel