Je copie ici un texte en anglais, très « informatif », écrit par un expatrié, marié à une taiwanaise, et qui a passé 60 jours en prison pour possession de canabis. Son épouse a aussi été incarcéré dans la prison de Tucheng, dans la banlieue de Taipei. Leur histoire est sordide: plusieurs amis fument de l’herbe sur leur balcon. Ca se sait. Une descente de police, ils trouvent 0,8 grammes. Le juge et la prison. A lire absolument. Vous aurez été prévenu 😉
On New Years Eve of last year we decided to head up to the cemetery near our house and watch the fireworks with the dead. It was short and overrated, just like the previous years, but the whiskey and good company made it well worth it. Walking back down to our house, we asked a friend if he wanted to come over and hang out for a little bit. He called his girlfriend, gave her the address, and she took a taxi over.
Back at our place, a rooftop apartment not far from Taipei 101, we all thought it wise to roll up a joint of hash and smoke it. The girlfriend of our friend didn’t join us but she seemed fine with the rest of us having our little smoke and then continuing on with the whiskey and loud music. After a while, the girlfriend took a taxi back home and the friend stayed the night on our sofa; not wanting to drive home after drinking.
Two months later, as my wife and I were walking downstairs to go to work, a police detective appeared in our stairwell. He flashed his badge and told us he had a warrant to search our place. He told us that he had information that we were selling cocaine and led us back upstairs. The detective was followed by six other officers, and an English interpreter. They only had our English names written down, so they might have thought that we were both foreigners. My wife is Taiwanese. They also said that they had been waiting downstairs in their cars since 7:00am and that they spoke to our neighbors about us. We didn’t leave that day until 4:00pm when they decided they didn’t want to wait any longer so they just came upstairs as we were, coincidentally, heading down.
They brought my wife into the house and had me sit outside with two detectives watching over me to make sure I didn’t try to run away. They played darts and I bummed cigarettes off of them as I had run out. The detectives inside searched the bedroom first and then moved on to the living room. In a basket, under our coffee table, where we keep our snacks, was a vitamin bottle with 0.8 grams of hash inside. The street value of that much hash is maybe 300 NT.
The cocaine accusation was bullshit. I’ll explain that more in the third chapter, but I feel like I need to get that out of the way now. I’ve never seen nor have I done cocaine at anytime in Taiwan and I have no idea how to even get such a thing. Selling it here seems beyond stupid to me. Somebody lied to the police, but again, I’ll get to all that soon.
It’s funny because they stopped the search right after they found the hash. They didn’t search the kitchen or the bathroom or even the rest of the living room. They wouldn’t have found anything else of course, but shit, if they were looking for cocaine you’d think they would have kept on searching. We could’ve had a kilo in our oven.
They told us we were being arrested but that they weren’t going to handcuff us. We weren’t allowed to say anything to each other and they took us downstairs into their car and we drove off to the Neihu police station. The detectives were from Neihu and the person who told them we were cocaine dealers is also from Neihu.
When you get arrested, you’re immediately taken to the police station to be processed and to give a statement. In my case, being an American, I was offered the choice of waiting for a representative from the American Institute in Taiwan to show up and observe, or just give the statement through an interpreter who was present during the search of our house and the subsequent arrest of both my wife and I. Being that it was so late by the time we got to the station, I would have had to wait in jail until the morning before the guy from AIT would show up. I decided to go ahead and give the statement through the interpreter, who I felt was competent and did a pretty good job.
During the statement, they separated the two of us and had different detectives asking us basically the same questions. One thing that I found interesting was that they never asked us where we got the hash. They just wanted to know how long we had been using it and how often we use it. I told the detective that it was mine and that my wife didn’t even know about it. My wife told them it was hers and that I didn’t even know about it. Obviously, they saw through that lie and brought us together and told us to just come clean. That’s when we told them that it was ours and we only really do it occasionally. This was completely true, but frequency doesn’t come into play when you’re doing something illegal.
After the statement was given and signed, we both had to give a urine exam, get fingerprinted and get our picture taken. We were then taken to the courthouse and put in the holding cell. The holding cell area is a big room in the basement of the courthouse with about eight cells in it. My wife was put in the women’s cell and I, of course, was put in the men’s cell. There were three other guys in my cell and before too long, they brought me out, handcuffed me to my wife and led us down to the prosecutor’s chamber.
The prosecutor’s chamber was a very small room with a very high seat and podium in the front for the prosecutor and his clerk to sit. The prosecutor was wearing a purplish robe and was sitting so high up in his throne, that it felt like he was twenty feet tall. They do this, I’m sure, to intimidate the accused, and I have to tell you: it worked wonderfully. The detectives who searched our house, along with the interpreter were all there. There was a small computer screen in front of us which I’d assumed had our case information displayed on it but, as it was all in Chinese, I couldn’t understand any of it.
The prosecutor asked us our names and if we understood the charges we were being arrested for. He then asked us if we wanted the hash back. I don’t know if he asked that to see if we were mentally fit for prison or if it was some sort of test to see if we truly understood that it was illegal, but it was odd all the same. We said that we didn’t’ want the hash back and then he gave us each a 10,000 NT bail. We headed back to the holding cells. One of the police detectives was nice enough to take my wife’s ATM card down to the machine and withdraw the money needed for the bail. They let us out but then called me back inside because they still needed to call the Foreign Affairs Police and make sure that they knew a foreigner had just been arrested. We went home after that.
Lire la suite sur taiwansurvival.com:
- 2ème partie: http://taiwansurvival.com/content/going-prison-part-2
- 3ème partie: http://taiwansurvival.com/content/going-prison-part-3