Taipei, Nov.1 (CNA) Three Taiwanese drug-smuggling suspects recently arrested in Thailand are facing the death penalty or life imprisonment if they are convicted there, according to Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).
The three men were detained at Chiang Mai International Airport on Oct. 30 as they were attempting to depart for Taiwan with 200 heroin bricks, weighing 70 kilograms, hidden in four suitcases.
The arrest of the men and seizure of the drugs was the result of a cross-border cooperation effort by a special task force composed of Thai and Taiwanese investigators, the CIB said.
After they were arrested, the three men admitted that the heroin would have fetched them NT$5 million (US$163,200) -- five times what they paid for it -- if they had succeeded in smuggling it into Taiwan, the bureau said.
It was also discovered the three suspects had smuggled seven kilograms of heroin into Taiwan in August, according to the CIB.
The three men, who all have a criminal record of drug trafficking, are now facing either the death penalty or life imprisonment in Thailand, since there is no lenience there for drug-related crimes, the bureau said.
Investigators have determined that the 200 heroin bricks were a Double UOGlobe brand from the Golden Triangle area bordering Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, according to Thai police.
They said Thai law enforcement, in collaboration with their foreign counterparts, usually step up their efforts against drug smuggling toward the end of the year, since it is a peak season for that type of criminal activity.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel