Sun, May 16, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Scooter fires draw attention to lax security measures

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two incidents yesterday of scooters allegedly being set alight close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have drawn attention to a lack of police security measures, on the eve of the presidential inauguration on May 20, in Taipei's Po-ai district.

No suspects have been identified and the police investigations continue.

According to a report by the Taipei City Police Department's Chungcheng First Precinct, a scooter which was parked on the sidewalk at the back of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building burst into flames at about 5am yesterday.

Approximately ten minutes later, the same thing happened to another two scooters, which were parked on the sidewalk in front of the Ministry of Justice. Both of the two scooter fires were immediately distinguished by police officers stationed at the two ministries.

The police investigation found that the three scooters had not initially been parked at the location where they were burned down, but officers have been unable to determine where they came from.

"These two cases showed that there is a big hole in our security measures and we shall assign more police officers to guard this area while we investigate the cases," said Yu Yi-hsien (余一縣), deputy director of the precinct.

According to Yu, the precinct's criminal investigation section immediately began their investigation and interviewed possible witnesses. Their testimony helped the police identify a man right away. The police interrogated him and only released his last name, Chiou (). However, they decided to let him go since there was no evidence linking him to the fires.

"He [Chiou] told us that he was waving national flags in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs every day. He said he does not need to protest by doing something illegal," said Hsu Jung-chun (許榮春), chief of the precinct's criminal investigation department.

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