TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Tainan resident was fined NT$300,000 (US$10,748) for violating quarantine twice and could face criminal charges for possession of narcotics.
A 38-year-old Taiwanese man surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan from Dubai on Feb. 12, proceeding to his residence in Tainan to begin his quarantine. However, according to his own admission, at 11 p.m. on Feb. 16 he stepped out to purchase a drink.
At 1 p.m. on Feb. 17, he ventured out again, but this time police were alerted to his movements and confronted him as he returned home. Chen told police that he had stepped out to withdraw NT$10,000 in cash, which he claimed he was going to lend to a friend to help pay for his bail.
Chen (center) (Tainan City Police Department photo)
However, police suspected he intended to use the funds to purchase drugs and discovered that he was carrying a packet of amphetamines, a category 2 narcotic. Police then asked Chen to submit to a urine test, and the result revealed recent amphetamine use.
Police transferred Chen to a government-run quarantine center to spend the rest of his quarantine. He is also being investigated by the Tainan District Prosecutor's Office for violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).
On Saturday (Feb. 20), the Tainan City Government Public Health Bureau fined Chen NT$300,000 for violating the "Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens" (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) because he had left his residence twice even though his quarantine was not set to end until Feb. 27.