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80kg of Ketamine seized in a factory of New Taipei

Police hold over 80 kilograms of drugs in a raid on a ketamine factory in New Taipei.

Ketamine is used by medical practitioners and veterinarians as an anaesthetic. It is sometimes used illegally by people to get high.

Ketamine can produce psychedelic effects, causing a person to see, hear, smell, feel or taste things that aren’t really there or are different from how they are in reality.

When it’s sold illegally, ketamine usually comes as a white crystalline powder. It can also be made into tablets and pills, or dissolved in a liquid.

 A number of clinical trials and studies are currently being undertaken to assess ketamine as a treatment for depression, early indications are showing good results.

Taiwan Police arrested five people believed to have been running the operation, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB)

Acting on a tip-off, investigators from the Shilin District Prosecutors' Office raided the illegal facility, which was housed in a rented residence in New Taipei's Sanzhi District, the CIB said at a news conference.

During the raid, investigators arrested five suspects and seized 0.38 kg of ketamine, 80 kg of semi-finished drugs, manufacturing equipment, raw materials, and 279 barrels of ethanol, toluene, and ethyl acetate, the bureau said.

A suspect surnamed Lai, a 36-year-old terminal cancer patient, had been paid NT$1 million (US$33,000) to manage the production of the ketamine, the CIB said.

In April, Lai traveled to Malaysia to learn how to manufacture ketamine, before returning to Taiwan via Cambodia, the bureau said.

The other two people arrested were identified as Chen, 27, who worked as Lai's assistant, and a storehouse guard surnamed Ho, 41.

Two of the suspects -- a 57-year-old man surnamed Liu and a 69-year-old man identified as Lin -- allegedly were funding the operation and had hired the other three people to work there, according to the CIB.

The five suspects are being held for further investigation on charges of violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act, according to the CIB


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