TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four individuals have been charged after more than NT$100 million (US$3 million) of heroin was smuggled into Taiwan inside an espresso machine in July, prosecutors said Monday (Oct. 30).
Prosecutors said the heroin was shipped from Thailand to Kaohsiung, and described the over 14-kilogram quantity as being 80% pure, per CNA. Two men surnamed Chiu (邱) and Fan (范) are said to have agreed to act as consignees for the delivery in return for NT$1 million.
After the package arrived in Taiwan, two other men, surnamed Lin (林) and Fan (范), took the drugs consignment to a remote location where it was seized by customs and police officers. All four people have been charged under Taiwan's drug harm prevention law, but prosecutors said they still do not know who sent the package.
In Taiwan, those found guilty of manufacturing, transporting, or selling heroin (or any other class one listed drug) may be sentenced to death or life in prison. Prosecutors warned those considering such actions not to risk their lives for the proceeds of drug smuggling.
The last execution carried out for heroin smuggling in Taiwan was in 2002.
A sign at Taoyuan International Airport reminds passengers that drug smuggling is punishable by death. (Wikimedia Commons photo)