Controlled drugs disguised as candied fruits seized at customs

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Controlled drugs disguised as candied fruits seized at customs (CNA photo)

Controlled drugs disguised as candied fruits seized at customs (CNA photo)

Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) A total of 30,200 pills of the controlled drug Erimin-5 have been seized by Taiwan customs before being shipped to China under the disguise as "candied fruits," the country's aviation police said Monday.

The drugs, identified as the hypnotic drug Nimetazepam (Erimin-5), were found hidden in two international express mail parcels on May 8 at Taoyuan International Airport.

They were disguised as candied fruit products to be exported to China, Aviation Police Bureau officer Tien Wei-jen (田偉仁) said Monday.

Two suspects allegedly involved in the drug-smuggling case were later arrested in May and July in Changhua County on suspicion of violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, Tien said, and police are still investigating whether a smuggling ring was involved.

Erimin-5, often used as a club drug, has a soothing effect on its users but also has harmful side effects and can be addictive.

Tien said the police suspected that the batch of illicit drugs was going to be sold in China to satisfy the growing demand of Chinese nightclubs.

Nimetazepam is a Class III controlled drug, and under Taiwan's Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, those found guilty of producing, transporting and selling Class III drugs can face a prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to NT$7 million (US$221,400).