26 at Taichung air base test positive for drugs: prosecutor

Taipei--A total of 26 servicemen at Ching Chuan Kang air base in Taichung have tested positive for drugs in initial urine testing conducted as part of an investigation into a case in which illegal drugs were discovered at the air base, a prosecutor said Friday.

Their specimens will undergo a second round of tests to rule out false-positive cases, said Kuo Ching-tung (???), a chief prosecutor at the Taichung District Prosecutors Office.

The military decided to have all personnel at the air base urine tested after 27 packages of white powder were found to have been dumped near an aircraft parking apron Monday.

The powder was later determined to be amphetamine and ketamine.

As of Friday, 51 packages of drugs dumped in different locations within the air base had been recovered, according to Kuo.

He said prosecutors will review surveillance camera footage in the hope of identifying the suspects and will also examine the cellphone records of the servicemen who tested positive for drugs.

Asked about the case during an interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan, Vice Defense Minister Cheng De-mei (???) said the highest-ranking person to test positive is a major.

Codeine, which is contained in some painkillers and medicines for colds and flu, is the main drug detected in the positive cases, and that in all cases, the levels are extremely low, Cheng said.

He said the Defense Ministry will let prosecutors conduct further investigations.

Premier Lin Chuan (??), meanwhile, pointed out that the servicemen who tested positive for drugs are not necessarily drug users, as they could have taken cold medication, and he urged the public not speculate.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel