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Police investigating suspicious int’l parcel after unknown gas detected inside

Police launched an investigation Sunday after an unknown gas was detected inside an international parcel from Taiwan delivered to a home in the central city of Cheonan, officials said.The Cheonan Seobuk Police Station received a report that an uniden…

Police launched an investigation Sunday after an unknown gas was detected inside an international parcel from Taiwan delivered to a home in the central city of Cheonan, officials said.

The Cheonan Seobuk Police Station received a report that an unidentified parcel, wrapped around an A4-sized plastic bag, was delivered to a home in Cheonan, 85 kilometers south of Seoul, at 12:41 p.m. Saturday. The package was found to have been delivered from Taiwan, police said.

Police and a team of explosive ordnance disposal experts were immediately dispatched to the scene. They took away the suspicious package for further investigation after an X-ray scan on the package found an unidentified gas inside.

It was the latest in more than 1,600 suspicious international parcels reported across the nation over the past several days. Despite fears they could contain hazardous or poisonous material, no such substances have been found.

In most parcels, lip balm or other cheap products were found, with some packages delivered empty.

Police are looking into the possibility of a "brushing scam," in which sellers at online shopping platforms send unordered products to people after illegally acquiring personal information. The scam is aimed at boosting sales and manipulating sellers' ratings on online shopping sites.

Authorities called for vigilance against suspicious international parcels. They said the color of such packages could be yellow or black, and they could have "CHUNGHWA POST" written on them. The sender could be P.O. Box 100561-003777, Taipei Taiwan.

The Taipei Mission in South Korea said it had found that such parcels were initially sent from China and arrived in South Korea after a stopover in Taiwan.

Source: Yonhap News Agency