Updated: 12/22/2013 21:15 | By Agence France-Presse

Taiwan seizes 200 kg of ketamine from China

Taiwan police said Sunday they had seized about 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of ketamine worth millions of US dollars and smuggled from China, in the second such drugs bust this year.

Taiwan seizes 200 kg of ketamine from China

Police arrange bags of seized ketamine at the Criminal Investigation Bureau during a press conference in Taipei on May 9, 2013

The haul was discovered in a shipment of shoes in three containers sent from the Chinese mainland, said officers at Taoyuan airport in the north.

Demand for drugs is rising in Taiwan as the holiday season approaches, a police officer told AFP.

A 32-year-old man was arrested, the officer said, adding that police were hunting other suspects.

Taiwan police in May seized 450 kilograms of ketamine valued at around Tw$300 million ($10 million).

Authorities have been cracking down on ketamine trafficking amid concern at the level of drug abuse among students and the health dangers of the drug.

Ketamine abuse can lead to a shrivelled bladder, shortness of breath, heart problems, cognitive impairment and mental problems.

Under Taiwan's anti-drug laws, manufacturing, transporting and dealing in ketamine are punishable by a minimum of five years in prison.

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