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Drug smuggling ring using young women as mule busted

Drug smuggling ring using young women as mule busted

Taipei, June 29 (CNA) The mastermind of a drug trafficking ring that allegedly used young women as mules has been arrested, officials of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) announced Monday.
The man, identified only by his surname of Liu, was rounded up Sunday in the northern port city of Keelung on charges of having smuggled at least 8 kilograms of high-grade heroin into Taiwan over the past two weeks alone, the MJIB officials said.
Liu's capture followed the arrest of a 31-year-old woman June 25 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle 10 heroin bricks weighing a total of 3.5 kilograms into Taiwan from Myanmar, the officials said.
The drugs were worth an estimated NT$100 million (US$3.03 million) on the street.
Since direct flight services between Taiwan and the Myanmar capital of Yangon were launched last year, MJIB agents said the four weekly Taipei-Yangon flights have become a new drug trafficking route, known as the "airborne heroin trafficking corridor." The route connects Taiwan directly with the notorious Golden Triangle narcotics production hub.
An initial investigation found that drug trafficking mules in Liu's ring had been seized three times over the past six months.
As a result, Liu changed his tactics by hiring pretty married young women with young children to serve as mules to reduce the risk of inviting attention or close inspection from customs agents at ports of entry.
The newly arrested woman, identified by her family name Shen, told investigators that Liu interviewed her and demanded that she travel with her 14-year-old daughter to Myanmar to smuggle contraband drugs into Taiwan.
Noting that heroin is a first grade statutory contraband substance, MJIB officials said those caught selling or trafficking heroin could be subject to the death penalty or life imprisonment.
They urged local residents to not be tempted by money into serving as mules of criminal rings.
(By Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2021-06-18 14:19 GMT+08:00