Taiwan makes island's biggest heroin bust in 20 years

Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau shows some of the 600 heroin bricks were discovered in 12 amplifier boxes in a container displayed at the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) in Taipei on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013. Taiwan police said on Sunday
Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau shows some of the 600 heroin bricks were discovered in 12 amplifier boxes in a container displayed at the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) in Taipei on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013. Taiwan police said on Sunday they had cracked a major drug ring, confiscating 229 kilograms of heroin in their biggest seizure of the drug for 20 years. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan police said on Sunday they had cracked a major drug ring, confiscating 229 kilograms of heroin in their biggest seizure of the drug for 20 years.

The 600 heroin bricks were discovered in 12 amplifier boxes in a container airlifted from Vietnam, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said.

Police said they had arrested eight people and were pursuing other suspects.

Bureau commissioner Lin Te-hua put the "wholesale" value of the haul at around NT$900 million (S$38 million), but said its street value in Taiwan could be 10 times more.

Authorities in October seized 220 pounds (100 kg) of heroin smuggled in a cargo container in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

Last year they seized 176 pounds (80 kg) of heroin in a fishing boat, and arrested seven people involved in smuggling it from Cambodia.

Under Taiwan's anti-drug laws, manufacturing, transporting and dealing in heroin is punishable by death.