NT$480 million worth of illicit drugs seized in New Taipei

Taipei, A large haul of the illicit drug Erimin was seized by Keelung Customs officers in New Taipei in mid-March, the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice said Friday.

According to the bureau, a cargo truck carrying 651 kilograms of the sedative Erimin in a container destined for Malaysia was intercepted by customs officers while it was waiting to go through customs at Port of Taipei on March 15.

A search of the container revealed 2.4 million Erimin tablets packaged in 48 paper bags inside 512 similar bags that contained plastic pellets, investigators said.

They said the drug haul, which had estimated street value of NT$480 million (US$15.74 million), was believed to be the biggest cache of Erimin seized in Taiwan this year.

On March 29, investigators arrested a couple in connection with the drug haul and seized packaging materials and sealing machines in a building unit they occupied in New Taipei's Shizhi District.

The two suspects have been handed over to the Taiwan Shihlin District Prosecutors Office for further investigation into violations of the Narcotics Endangerment Prevention Act.

Erimin is a brand name for Nimetazepam, a hypnotic sedative that was generally prescribed for the treatment of severe insomnia but was discontinued by the sole manufacturer in 2015.

In Taiwan, Erimin is classified as a third grade narcotic.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel