TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese and Thai police joined forces to intercept a batch of amphetamines that were to be smuggled inside replica Moai statues, the monolithic human figures found on Easter Island, with a street value of NT$240 million (US$8 million).
Thailand's Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) and Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and the Third Special Police Corps of the National Police Agency, were tipped off that the drugs would be placed in containers in Thailand before being smuggled by sea to Taiwan, CNA reported. Taiwanese and Thai police immediately formed a special team to investigate the matter.
The team found the drugs were to be smuggled inside large replicas of Moai statues. They were to be loaded onto a ship at Laem Chabang Port in Chonburi province.
After obtaining a search warrant from a court, the task force raided the storage yard of a logistics company at Laem Chabang Port, on Wednesday afternoon (June 8). Police found six large Moai statues labeled as "art exhibits," which were to be shipped to Taiwan.
Members of the task force cracked open the heads of the statues and found 200 kg of amphetamines packed in tea bags. A Thai suspect was arrested, while the task force continues to search for the main organizers of the smuggling operation.
Amphetamines in tea bags found inside fake Moai statues. (CNA photo)