Two Tai­wanese men ar­rested in Thai­land over drug-smug­gling

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

Two Tai­wanese cit­i­zens were re­cently ar­rested by Thai­land author­i­ties over drug-smug­gling charges, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

The sus­pects were ar­rested on Wed­nes­day as they were about to leave Thai­land from an in­ter­na­tional air­port, deputy MOFA spokesman An­drew Lee ( ) told lo­cal media yesterday.

The coun­try’s Tai­wan rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice was in­formed of the in­ci­dent by Thai po­lice author­i­ties right af­ter the ar­rests were made. It is now as­sist­ing in the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the al­leged drug­traf­fick­ing ac­cu­sa­tion, Lee said.

Lee made the com­ments af­ter be­ing asked to con­firm for­eign media re­ports of the ar­rests.

Ac­cord­ing to a Bangkok Post re­port, the two men, iden­ti­fied as Liao Ping-hsiang, 22, and Huang Jyun-Jie, 21, were ar­rested at Su­varn­ab­humi In­ter­na­tional Air­port while at­tempt­ing to smug­gle 12 kilo­grams of crys­tal metham­phetamine to New Zealand.

They were pre­par­ing to leave Thai­land for Auck­land, New Zealand, the re­port quoted po­lice sources as say­ing.

Com­ment­ing on the news, Lee yesterday said the two are cur­rently been de­tained by Nar­cotics Sup­pres­sion Di­vi­sion author­i­ties. Tai­wanese diplo­mats in Thai­land will file for ap­pli­ca­tions to visit the men, he noted.

Tai­wanese of­fi­cials will also pre­pare a list of lawyers the sus­pects could hire in prepa­ra­tion for their le­gal needs. The Tai­wan rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice will make sure the pair will face a fair trial, he said.

Back in Tai­wan, Lee noted that the min­istry has con­tacted the fam­i­lies of the two sus­pects and will help them visit the men who are de­tained in Thai­land should they wish to do so.

Mean­while, Lee re­minded the public not to carry for­bid­den items and to fol­low lo­cal laws when trav­el­ing over­seas. Drug traf­fick­ing is a very se­ri­ous of­fense in Thai­land and of­fend­ers may face the death penalty, Lee said.

Ac­cord­ing to MOFA, cur­rently a to­tal of 156 Tai­wanese na­tion­als are in­car­cer­ated in Thai­land, most of them for drug-smug­gling con­vic­tions.

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