TAIPEI: New Zealand has become a hot spot for Taiwanese tourists. With an increased number of Taiwanese citizens smuggling drugs into New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) warned Taiwanese nationals to obey New Zealand’s laws when traveling since the punishment for drug trafficking has proved to be very severe.
MOFA said that New Zealand’s law strictly prohibits drug manufacturing, possession, smuggling and selling. For example, according to the law, if convicted of selling Class A drugs, the offender will receive 14 years in prison. If found involved in importing drugs, the highest sentence given could be life in prison.
A statement released by the (MOFA) yesterday said that in the past year, there have been many cases of Taiwanese citizens smuggling drugs and participating in other illegal activities while visiting New Zealand; Taiwanese offenders have been arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to prison by New Zealand courts, said MOFA.
MOFA said that according to foreign media, New Zealand Border Customs seized 3.5 liters of liquid methamphetamine last week, which was estimated to have a market value of NT$24 million. Two Taiwanese nationals were arrested for the offense and a hearing has begun at the Wellington Court in New Zealand.
Furthermore, MOFA said illegal drug cases are considered international crimes and are prosecuted worldwide. MOFA said combating illegal drug cases is also a firm stance that the government of Taiwan takes.