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Taiwan Detains 4 Hong Kong Citizens for Smuggling Drugs From Belgium

Group hides 14 kg of ketamine in luggage

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Aviation Police Bureau (APB) detained four members of a Hong Kong group smuggling ketamine from Belgium to Taiwan, but the chief suspect was believed to have fled to Thailand, reports said Tuesday (Dec. 19).

A 21-year-old man known as John Wang recruited four other Hong Kong citizens he had not known previously to form a criminal organization, per CNA. Posing as tourists, they traveled to Belgium in June to contact local drug smugglers.

Wang originally wanted to sell the drugs in Europe, but contacts in Taiwan’s criminal circles told him there was more profit to be made in taking the contraband to Taipei. The group hid the drugs inside their luggage and boarded a flight from Paris to Taoyuan International Airport.

Two of the group members landed in Taiwan the evening before to watch the smugglers with the drugs arrive early the next morning. However, one member of the latter group fled, leaving his two colleagues to be caught by customs with 14.158 kilograms of ketamine in their bags. The drugs had an estimated street value of NT$30 million (US$956,000), the APB said.

Wang managed to escape with his Hong Kong girlfriend on a flight to Bangkok, but the four other suspects were arrested at various locations in Taiwan. One gang member told police that Wang had promised them each around NT$587,000 for taking the ketamine into Taiwan.

Source: Taiwan News