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Taiwan court sentences US man to jail for ammo in luggage at airport

75-year-old man was transiting through Taoyuan International Airport on way to Philippines from California

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US man was arrested in January 2023 for accidentally bringing 50 .22 bullets into the country. (Pixabay photo) 

US man was arrested in January 2023 for accidentally bringing 50 .22 bullets into the country. (Pixabay photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A U.S. man was sentenced by a Taiwan court to one year and one month in jail for carrying 50 bullets in his luggage as he was transiting through Taoyuan International Airport.

The incident occurred on Jan. 26, 2023, as the 76-year-old man was traveling from San Francisco, California to Cebu, Philippines. The senior was unaware the .22 ammunition was in his luggage when he boarded the flight in the U.S., reported UDN.

After the bullets were discovered, the man told authorities during questioning that they were from a previous hunting trip, and he had forgotten to remove them from his luggage. The man was reportedly on his way to the Philippines to visit his son who worked there.

The man was charged with violating laws governing the trafficking of firearms, ammunition, and other weapons through the country. The man readily confessed to the crime and said he did not intend to break any of Taiwan’s laws during his travels.

Despite the man’s mistake, he was referred to the Taoyuan District Prosecutor’s Office for processing and trial and was unable to leave the country following his arraignment.

In the recent ruling by the Taoyuan court, given the man’s age, quick confession, and cooperation with authorities, he would be sentenced to one year and one month in jail, along with a fine of NT$50,000 (US$1,600).

The fine, determined by the number of bullets found in his luggage, may be waived in exchange for community service at a rate of NT$1,000 per day of work, per UDN.