A total of 1,783.5 kg of illicit drugs were intercepted in a shipment of goods that included children’s playground ornaments, tea, and car wax. Some of the drugs were hidden in fibreglass Panda statues and giant mushrooms designed to be placed in playgrounds.
The drugs were first detected by Taichung customs officers on March 31. Police special investigation units were notified, and a coordinated effort was made between different agencies to track and arrest the recipients of the shipment. The drugs were packed into goods shipped in containers from Hong Kong, but are believed to have originated in China.
April 2 a 23 year-old man was arrested upon reception of the tubs of car wax in Taoyuan, while the pandas and mushrooms were delivered to Changhua county where a 37 year-old man was arrested. Authorities are continuing investigations to determine who is actually responsible for the smuggling operation.
The haul included 263.5 kg of ketamine, and 1520 kg of pseudoephedrine – a precursor in the production of methamphetamine.