Taiwan’s port of Kaohsiung installs X-ray scanner to track illegal drugs

Machine is first of its kind in Taiwan

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Premier William Lai (second from left) at the launch of the new X-ray scanner in Kaohsiung.

Premier William Lai (second from left) at the launch of the new X-ray scanner in Kaohsiung. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Kaohsiung port on Saturday inaugurated the first example in Taiwan of a sophisticated new X-ray container scanner to detect illegal drugs, marking another step in the government’s war on drugs.

Premier William Lai (賴清德), who was present at the ceremony, said the drugs supply needed to be cut off completely, and demanded the relevant authorities share information to “wage war together,” the Central News Agency reported.

He reminded his audience of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) message that the war on drugs was a national security issue, as the problem not only affected individuals and families, but also national development.

The government was investing NT$10 billion (US$325 million) over four years to back up the effort, CNA quoted Lai as saying.

Three other scanners of the type installed in Kaohsiung, the first of its kind in Taiwan, would soon come into use in Taichung and Keelung, reports said. The machinery would not only help to track down drugs, but also weapons and smuggled cigarettes.

Lai emphasized that the authorities were no longer interested in just arresting users, but were going after the figures and organizations behind the manufacturing, import and distribution of illegal drugs.