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Taiwan Coast Guard detains three suspected sheep stomach smugglers

Matsu Coast Guard deployed oil containment booms to prevent oil spills

The grounded Chinese vessel. (Coast Guard Administration photo)

The grounded Chinese vessel. (Coast Guard Administration photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s coastguard detained three suspected Chinese smugglers on Monday (Oct. 16).

On Monday, the Matsu Patrol Duty Command Center (DCC) discovered a Chinese cargo ship entering the waters near Taiwan's Matsu islands. Coast guard crew immediately apprehended three Chinese crew members, CNA reported.

They confiscated 7 metric tons of Australian sheep stomachs, which the three men are suspected of smuggling.

The Matsu Coast Guard Administration (CGA) headquarters issued a press release on Thursday (Oct. 19), saying it detected a suspicious vessel in the waters off Dongyin, Matsu at around 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 16. Personnel were dispatched to investigate and found it to be a Chinese cargo ship.

The Matsu coast guard broadcast warnings to drive it away, but the ship continued to sail. It later ran aground near the coast of Dongyin.

After reporting the vessel, Dongyin Command coordinated with concerned civilians, and the three Chinese crew members were apprehended on the spot.

The Matsu Patrol DCC reported that a batch of suspected animal organ cargo was found on the ship. Upon inspection, it was determined to be 7 metric tons of Australian sheep stomach.

The vessel experienced serious water ingress after running aground, prompting the Matsu Coast Guard to deploy oil containment booms to prevent oil spills.

The case has been referred to the Lienchiang District Prosecutors Office for investigation, in accordance with the Anti-Smuggling Act and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the People of the Mainland Area.

The Matsu Islands are a 36-island archipelago located along the southeastern coast of China and are governed by Taiwan.