Taiwan makes island's biggest heroin bust in 20 years

Taiwan makes island's biggest heroin bust in 20 years

TAIPEI - Taiwan police said Sunday they had cracked a major drug ring, confiscating 229 kilograms (504 pounds) of heroin in their biggest seizure of the drug for 20 years.

The 600 heroin bricks were discovered in 12 amplifier boxes in a container airlifted from Vietnam, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said.

Police said they had arrested eight people and were pursuing other suspects.

Bureau commissioner Lin Te-hua put the "wholesale" value of the haul at around Tw$900 million (S$37.95 million), but said its street value in Taiwan could be ten times more.

Authorities in October seized 220 pounds of heroin smuggled in a cargo container in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

Last year they seized 176 pounds of heroin in a fishing boat, and arrested seven people involved in smuggling it from Cambodia.

Under Taiwan's anti-drug laws, manufacturing, transporting and dealing in heroin is punishable by death.

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