No soldiers at Taichung Air Force base indicted for drug use

2017/08/07 18:52:30
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) The Taichung District Prosecutors Office has decided not to press charges against 10 soldiers and officers at Ching Chuan Kang Air Force Base for drug use because hair tests for heroin use were negative.

The investigation remains ongoing, however, because prosecutors have yet to determine where the 53 packages of amphetamines found in February in different parts of the base came from, the office said Monday.

The packages of amphetamines in the form of white power were scattered over a 2-kilometer stretch on the base, and found on the grounds of a hangar, basketball court, parking lot, and roads, according to the prosecutors office.

Following the finding, the Ministry of National Defense ordered all 2,555 soldiers and officers stationed on the base to undergo urine tests for drugs.

The results found that 10 people posted at the base tested positive for heroin, but none of them admitted to using the drug, insisting instead that the tests were false positives caused by the cold medicines they were taking.

That testimony led police and prosecutors to collect head hair samples from the persons of interest for an advanced examination at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the district prosecutors office said.

The institute's findings eventually came back negative for all 10 servicemen.

In response to questions from prosecutors and the suspects' testimony, the institute said it could not rule out the possibility that the positive results were in fact caused by a cold medicine, the office said.

Because not all of the suspects were available at the same time, with some on missions outside the base, the hair tests were conducted at different times and the results came back separately.

It was only after the final test came back recently that prosecutors announced that all 10 of the suspects were off the hook.

(By Su Mu-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)
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