Drug trafficker imported cashew nut-shaped heroin into Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Police recently arrested a drug-trafficking suspect who allegedly smuggled heroin from Vietnam by making the illicit drug into the shape of cashew nuts, according to the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

Police forces arrested the suspect surnamed Hsieh on Nov. 16 at a hotel in Kaohsiung, a day after he returned from Vietnam to Taiwan with the smuggled narcotics, the CIB said in a released statement.

Police found 16 bags of heroin with the total weight of 5.8 kilograms that were intentionally made into the shape of cashew nuts in an attempt to fool customs authorities, the CIB said.

According to the CIB, a drug-smuggling ring recently came up with this new method to transport narcotics into Taiwan because they believed it would make it difficult for customs authorities to detect compared to traditional smuggling methods.

Cashew nuts are one of Vietnam's most famous products.

The ring acquired heroin bricks in Vietnam and then they used specially made moulds to make the heroin look like cashew nuts. The ring then asked Taiwanese nationals in need of money to bring the cashew-shaped heroin back to Taiwan from Vietnam via airplane.

The case is now being investigated by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.