Three legal migrant workers from the Philippines in Taiwan were arrested for allegedly assisting in the smuggling of two parcels of more than 3 kilograms of cannabis buds from the United States to the island.
On Monday, officers from Taipei Customs intercepted two suspicious packages from Los Angeles during a random inspection at Evergreen Air Cargo Services Corporation, The Liberty Times reported.
Labeled as toys and clothing, both parcels showed abnormalities during X-ray examination. Two packets with a combined weight of 3.256kg, for an estimated market value of NT$15 million (nearly US$500,000), of cannabis buds were found.
On Tuesday morning, Taipei police arrested two Filipinos who showed up to collect the parcels, a 36-year-old woman named Diana and a 41-year-old man named Frederick, in Wanhua district of Taipei City and Shulin district of New Taipei City respectively.
A third Filipino, a 28-year-old woman named Anna, allegedly the handler for the illegal plants, was later arrested in Songshan district of Taipei. She admitted to assisting in the smuggling of illegal drugs, saying she did so as she was in financial difficulties, Taiwan Apple Daily reported.
Each of the suspects expected to receive NT$6,000 for each successful shipment of cannabis.
Preliminary police investigation found that the two female suspects had legally entered Taiwan as domestic caregivers, while the male was also a legal migrant granted permission to work on the island.