Mon, Jul 19, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Fraudsters, CDs and the foolish blue camp

By Chin Heng-wei金恆煒

In the past few days police have arrested three men in connection with a scam involving a CD that claimed to identify those responsible for the March 19 assassination attempt.

Although it turned out to be a fraud, the incident is worth looking at in depth. Although the case appears quite insignificant, it does show how desperate the pan-blue camp seems to have become.

One of the most important things that this fraud demonstrates is just how easy it is for criminals to exploit human weakness and greed.

It is worth asking, however, how the pan-blues allowed themselves to get carried away regarding the March 19 shooting of the president and the vice president.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP), in order to justify the streets protests that followed their March 20 election defeat, have been claiming that the election was rigged and that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) staged the shooting.

It was for this reason that the shooting incident was chosen as the principle argument by the pan-blues in challenging the election outcome, especially considering the recount conducted by the judiciary had dismissed the idea that anything more amiss than procedural flaws had occurred during the original count. Without recourse to the recount as an excuse for their failure at the polls, the pan-blue camp then grasped at the last option before them.

This desperation was not lost on the fraudsters, who realized that the pan-blue camp wanted to use the shooting to overturn the election, or at least claim the illegitimacy of Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) presidency, given the uncertainty surrounding the incident. The problem was that a whole string of accusations levied by the pan-blues, from those made by Legislator Sisy Chen (陳文茜) and retired general Shui Hua-ming (帥化民), to Academia Sinica researchers Ma Tzu-heng (馬自恆) and Chu Hung-yuan (朱浤源) all failed to hold water, and things were starting to become farcical. At the moment, people willing to come up with so-called insider information proving that the shooting incident was staged by the DPP are pretty thin on the ground. Things are not going the way the pan-blues want, and it would have been incredible if they had not fallen into the trap set for them by the makers of the CD.

Let's look at an actual example. According to reports, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took the CD and a gun, so-called evidence of the March 19 shooting handed to him by a pan-blue legislator, extremely seriously. That very day he called a closed door meeting with Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞), the commissioner of the Taipei City Police Department and Frank Chiu (邱豐光), of the Taipei Municipal Criminal Investigation Corps. The men decided to name the case after the date the legislator had reported it -- 626 (June 26) -- and send Lee Wen-chang (李文章), chief officer of Ta-An district's Criminal Investigation Section, south to participate in the special investigation team. In the meeting that ensued, Ma's name appears as one of those who provided the CD and clues pointing to the shooter: Lee Wen-ta (李文達).

The fact that petty fraudsters could lure the mayor of the capital -- Ma Ying-jeou -- a doctor of law and darling of the press into their trap, and have him run around in circles, certainly rings of desperation.

Now the truth is out. We have the fake CD, and we can compare it with the actual photo that the pan-blues revealed last month, to see if they in fact used a fake photo to fool the country.

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