Feb. 24 (UPI) — Charges of drug use in Taiwan’s military is causing an uproar after several small packets of white powder identified as amphetamines were found at an air force base in Taichung.
Local news service United Daily News reported Friday of the 3,000 military personnel who were subsequently tested for drug use at the air base, more than 20 tested positive.
More comprehensive testing is to follow to determine whether the tests confirm illegal drug use, the China Post reported.
The investigations began after a military officer on patrol Monday discovered the packets of powder at Chuan Kang Air Force Base.
Police in Taichung said they found 51 packs of amphetamines and ketamine capsules within a 1.2-mile radius of the base: in parking lots, dormitories and on nearby roads.
Ketamine is a recreational drug that can also be used to treat serious depression.
Taiwanese Premier Lin Chuan said “more thorough investigations are to be conducted in order to rectify tarnished military discipline.”
Deputy Defense Minister Lee Hsi-ming said Friday that the military was testing all personnel for drug use, including enlisted and conscripted soldiers.
Wang Yu-min, a lawmaker with the opposition Nationalist Party, said soldiers who used illegal drugs should be strictly punished in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
According to Taiwan’s justice ministry, more than 62,000 cases of illegal drug use or sale was reported in the country in 2014.
Drug trafficking is a capital offense in Taiwan.