Suspicious parcel from China reported in Taiwan following US warnings

Woman receives mysterious package containing soil, sends it to authorities for inspection

Suspicious parcel (Facebook, 林文雯 photo)

Suspicious parcel (Facebook, 林文雯 photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After multiple reports in different U.S. states of unsolicited shipments of foreign seeds that appear to be from China, a woman living in Taiwan claimed she also received a mysterious package from China and has reported it to authorities for further investigation.

The woman, identified as Lin Wen-wen (林文雯), posted on Facebook Tuesday (July 28) that a package had arrived earlier that month but that she had not touched it until recently. The package bears a shipping label printed in simplified Chinese claiming it contains potting soil from Shanghai, but the names of two senders are unknown to Lin.

Due to her concerns about scams, and later, safety, Lin reacted with caution and did not open it. She informed the Council of Agriculture of the matter and was asked to send the parcel to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) Keelung Branch for further investigation.

A BAPHIQ official told CNA the parcel weighs 0.22 kg and contains potting soil. The bureau is carefully inspecting soil, which will be destroyed afterward, the official said.

According to Taiwanese law, importing soil is prohibited, as it might contain unseen harmful pests that could cause an ecological disaster in the country. Anyone who receives a suspicious package is advised to contact the bureau at 0800-039-131.

Contents visible inside parcel. (BAPHIQ photo)