Seized package of bomb-making chemicals meant for TV production: owner

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Aviation police seized on Monday two suspicious packages containing chemical compounds which can used in the making of bombs, but the owner of the package claimed yesterday that the goods were intended for use as special effects in a TV production.

Taipei Customs seized what it believes are chemical compounds that can be used in the making of bombs at Taoyuan International Airport, the agency said yesterday.

Customs officials and aviation police intercepted some 20 kilograms of materials suspected to be TNT and nitroglycerine on Monday in a package sent from Hong Kong and labelled as containing "lamps and lighting equipment."

The Criminal Investigation Bureau has been brought in to confirm the make-up of the items. A man, surnamed Su and identified as the package recipient, said the chemicals posed no threat. Su told aviation police that the powders were harmless and were intended for use as special effects in a TV production.

Su said a fire scene with an explosion required the creation of smoke. He had asked friends in Hong Kong to mail "smoke pipes" which contained sulfur, desiccant and saw dust.

The police have started an investigation. A TV producer and Su have both testified to police. After reviewing the script, the police mostly concurred with Su's claim. The Criminal Investigation Bureau said it would continue investigating the case.