About 30 kg (66lb) of smuggled party drug ketamine arrived on one of the first direct cargo flights between political rivals China and Taiwan following six decades of hostile relations, a Customs official said on Friday.
Airport Customs agents in Taipei found the popular powdered hallucinatory drug on Thursday packed into eight boxes on a Chinese cargo plane, customs officials said.
"Our expectation was that direct cargo links could possibly lead to drug smuggling," said Lin Shu-chi, deputy Taipei Customs Office head. "I can't say this was beyond our imagination."
Brilliant to smuggle 30kg of dope on those flights, because everyone knows customs officials wouldn't be paying much attention to the very first direct regular cargo flights in sixty years. The best part was the final paragraph:
A 31-year-old Chinese woman was arrested in connection with the ketamine, which was destined for a convenience store in central Taiwan, local media said.
...and when they say you can buy anything at a convenience store in Taiwan, it's really true. But I'm sure tests will reveal it's not real ketamine, just melamine, recolored, like everything else out of China.
Ketamine is an animal knock-out drug, which reminds me of another sad tale this week: the booming stray dog population as owners dump dogs they can no longer care for. Kudos to the China Post for its superior local reporting, for hitting on this issue. My wife and I live in a popular dumping spot near the mountains, and we've noticed an upswing in the dog population and many new dogs appearing.
Tallies compiled by Taipei City’s Environmental Protection Department, which is responsible for handling stray dogs, show that the highest number of abandoned canines were captured in the Shihlin and Beitou districts, adjacent to Yangmingshan National Park, a recreation area in northern Taiwan.
The park has become a popular dumping ground because dog owners believe its vast wooded environment is suitable for dogs to find food, take shelter and survive on their own.
Huang estimated that there are more than 300 or 400 stray dogs roaming within the park at any given time.
They survive on food and snacks left by visitors as well as small wild animals, such as snakes and mice, Huang said.
Shelter officials noticed that more pricey breeds are showing up as even the formerly well-to-do lose their ability to care for their animals. In our neighborhood that is also true. Unfortunately we already have three large ones, and can't take any more.
MEDIA: Kudos too to Reuters for The Formula:
China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong's Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists (KMT) fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.Note how The Formula takes no position on China's claim to own Taiwan, simply noting that Beijing has promised to kill, if necessary, to annex the island. None of this "bring Taiwan back into the fold" swill, and no "split in 1949" nonsense that AP has taken out a patent on -- instead correctly noting that what "split" were the KMT and the CCP. Great job, guys!