Former policeman caught smuggling 126.4 kg of heroin through Pingtung County last year convicted of drug trafficking by Pingtung District Court and sentenced to life in prison .
Wen Chun-lung (溫俊龍) was given a severe sentence due to the gravity of the crime and because he had a greater responsibility to understand and uphold the law as a former police officer, according to the court decision of October 27.
Heroin, morphine, opium and cocaine are classified in Taiwan as Category 1 narcotics, and under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒毒), offenders caught manufacturing, transporting or selling such drugs is punishable by death or life imprisonment.
The case dates back to March of last year when the Kaohsiung Coast Guard learned that drug traffickers were using trawlers to transport illicit drugs.
After a four-month investigation, authorities boarded a ship off the coast of the Hengchun Peninsula in Pingtung County at around 2 a.m. on July 24.
A close inspection of the ship uncovered five bags of heroin weighing 126.435 kg, and the ship’s captain, Lin Tse-fu (林澤富), was arrested.
Wen, Lin, and four others were charged in August last year for drug trafficking.
Wen denied running the operation and said he was just an employee. However, prosecutors said he played a key role in funding and planning the drug transport.
Prosecutors in Pingtung said the drugs originated in Myanmar and were transported to a port in Vietnam before being loaded onto a Taiwanese fishing boat.
The market value of heroin was estimated at NT $ 3 billion (US $ 107.6 million).
Of the other five suspects, three were convicted of drug trafficking, including Lin, and were sentenced to terms ranging from 12 to 14 years in prison, while the other two were acquitted for lack of evidence, said the Minister. court.
The decision can be appealed.
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