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500 kilograms of weed being shipped from Canada to Taiwan hidden in bags of wood pellets

Nov 9, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Police estimate cannabis to be worth nearly $30 million

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Five people have been arrested and a wanted notice has been posted for a Taiwanese man living in Canada after nearly 500 kilograms of cannabis was intercepted by authorities in the island nation.

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The cannabis, which was hidden in bags of wood pellets, originated from Canada, reports the Taipei Times, citing a National Police Agency (NPA) statement.

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Police have also issued a wanted notice for a Taiwanese man who has been living in Canada for a decade and is alleged to be involved in the smuggling operation.

  1. Two men have been detained by police as the investigation continues. / PHOTO BY MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

    More than 1,600 cannabis plants seized in largest bust in Taiwan’s history

  2. Basketball star Chang Tsung-hsien, also known as Jet Chang, was found to be in possession of a cannabis vape. / Jet Chang Instagram

    Taiwanese basketball star caught with a cannabis vape, faces a maximum of three years in prison

  3. Officials cited packages of cannabis originating in North America and disguised as snacks as a newly pervasive trend that has surfaced since Canada’s Cannabis Act went into effect.

    https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-news/hong-kong-blames-canada-for-500-uptick-in-cannabis-confiscations

The man living in Canada is alleged to be working with members of the Taipei-based Northern Union crime gang. The group first imported a shipment of wood pellets in March with an estimated value of about $6,300. A month later, a separate shipment of wood pellets arrived containing 409 bags of concealed cannabis.

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Police estimate the cannabis to be worth nearly $30 million.

The group had purchased a company that manufactures set-top boxes, also known as cable boxes or television decoders, so the shipments of wood pellets reportedly piqued the curiosity of customs officials.

One of the men was arrested after he arrived to pick up the second shipment and police arrested the remaining men over a period of six months following an investigation.

Cannabis is illegal in Taiwan and listed as a Category 2 narcotic by Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, alongside drugs like amphetamines and opium.

Those caught transporting Category 2 narcotics are subject to life imprisonment or a minimum ten-year fixed-term imprisonment. They may also be fined up to fifteen million New Taiwan dollars.

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In September, Taiwanese police made another record-setting bust, seizing about 4,200 plants not far from a military base in Taoyuan.

The plants were found as a result of a tip and police used an unmanned aerial vehicle to conduct a flyover of the farm before the raid.

The bust was reported as the largest-ever such seizure in the island nation by ICRT TV.

In April 2021, two men were arrested following what was then the largest seizure of cannabis plants in Taiwan’s history.

More than 1,600 plants were seized after authorities raided a greenhouse in the mountainous region of Guanhsi Township, with police estimating the value of the haul to be about $22 million.

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with feedback and story tips at thegrowthop@postmedia.com

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