TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over 22,000 packets of narcotic-laced instant coffee have been seized since the beginning of this year in Taipei, the city’s police department announced Wednesday (July 21).
A total of nine raids between January and July led to the drug busts, according to the Criminal Investigation Division. The police have also uncovered four packaging sites for drug-tainted instant beverages.
Instant coffee packets spiked with narcotics have become a major source of drug abuse in Taiwan over the years. Easily accessible at nightclubs and parties, the coffee mix is well-received among youngsters.
The fact that the drug is available at about NT$500 (US$18) a packet and can be consumed without an intravenous injection has boosted its popularity for those who find it hard to resist the temptation.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau said many types of drugs have been found in the illicit brew, from mephedrone (also known as meow meow), to erimine, ketamine, and MMA (an MDMA substitute). The intake of MMA can lead to heart failure, with 132 deaths reported between October 2020 and April 2021 in Taiwan, reported UDN, citing data from the Institute of Forensic Medicine.