US citizen caught with 100 bullets at Taiwan airport

Apprehended Chinese-American suspect says he had brought the rifle ammunition to Taiwan on a flight from Vancouver, Canada into Taoyuan

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Taoyuan airport police nabbed a U.S. citizen (center) with 100 bullets in his carry-on luggage.

Taoyuan airport police nabbed a U.S. citizen (center) with 100 bullets in his carry-on luggage. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nabbed a United States citizen who was trying to board a flight to Vancouver, Canada, with 100 bullets in his carry-on luggage, reports said Thursday.

The 29-year-old man of ethnic Chinese descent told investigators he had bought the ammunition legally at a sports goods store in Seattle, Washington, before traveling to Taiwan by way of Canada, the Central News Agency reported.

The .22 rifle cartridges turned up during a routine search of the carry-on luggage of departing passengers, but the man claimed he did not know he was breaking the law.

He explained to police that he had bought them for US$4 a box in the U.S. and put them in his backpack before boarding a flight from Vancouver, Canada to Taiwan with the intent of using them at a shooting range.

The violation of Taiwanese gun laws could result in a prison sentence ranging from one to seven years, CNA reported.

The Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office had the task of questioning the man further to find out the complete picture about how and why he managed to enter the country carrying the ammunition, according to CNA.

In April 2017, an off-duty Santa Monica Police Department officer traveled from Los Angeles to Taiwan before finding out she had inadvertently put a personal firearm in her carry-on luggage, but she reported the incident to the authorities.