Taiwan nabs Canadian smuggling drugs disguised as tea

20 kilos of marijuana had street value of NT$30 million

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Marijuana disguised as Pu'er tea. (Taoyuan Airport police photo)

Marijuana disguised as Pu'er tea. (Taoyuan Airport police photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport arrested a Canadian found with NT$30 million (US$1 million) worth of marijuana disguised as Chinese Pu’er tea, reports said Thursday (Jan. 9).

A 40-year-old Canadian man of ethnic Chinese origin surnamed Wang had packaged the drugs in 20 rolls weighing slightly more than 1 kilogram each, the Liberty Times reported.

He had arrived on a flight from Canada at 5 a.m. on Dec. 28. When an X-ray scan of his luggage raised suspicions, customs and airport police took a closer look. They found the 20 rolls hidden inside his clothes, with tests showing that the content of the packages was not tea but marijuana.

Police let Wang head for his hotel in Taoyuan, hoping a customer would show up to take delivery of the drugs, but nobody did, the Liberty Times reported. Police suspect that a member of the gang had been on the same flight as Wang and noticed that the ruse had been found out.

While Wang has been transferred to prosecutors, the search for the smuggling ring will continue, the authorities said.