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Taiwan-bound ‘durian’ turns out to be heroin

Taiwan-bound 'durian' turns out to be heroin

Officials examine some of the 7.2kg of heroin hidden in a water heater and bags of dried durian on Wednesday. The drugs were destined for Taiwan.

Customs officials say they have intercepted over 7 kilogrammes of heroin allegedly bound for Taiwan as part of a joint programme with international logistics agencies.

The interception occurred on Wednesday when officials found a large consignment containing a water heater and four cases of dried durian originating from Cambodia and addressed to Taiwan, Patchara Anuntasilpa, director-general of the Customs Department, said on Saturday.

The water heater was found to be concealing 10 bricks of heroin weighing 3.7kg. The packages bore a logo of two lions standing on a globe. Another 3.5kg of heroin were found in the boxes of dried durian.

Altogether, 7.2kg of the drug, estimated to be worth 21.6 million baht, were found and seized. The shipment is being held by police at Suvarnabhumi airport.

The inspections were carried out by the Airport Interdiction Task Force, comprising agents from the Customs Department, the Narcotics Control Board, the Narcotics Suppression Bureau and the Armed Forces Security Centre.

Sections 244, 252, 166 and 167 of the customs code were violated by the sender, Mr Patchara said.

Thai authorities intend to coordinate with their counterparts in Cambodia and the customs office and Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau of Taiwan to further investigate the matter, he said.

The programme of narcotics interdiction involving postal and express consignments was initiated to monitor the smuggling of narcotics through customs channels, Mr Patchara added.

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