Sat, May 04, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Police detain 350 in crackdown on organized crime

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office head prosecutor Ho Ming-chen, third left, and Criminal Investigation Bureau Director Huang Ming-chao, fourth left, at a news conference in Taipei yesterday inspect illegal firearms and gang outfits confiscated during a sweep.

Photo: Chiu Chun-fu, Taipei Times

Police in major sweeps nationwide over the past week have detained 350 people for alleged participation in illicit activities related to organized crime, as well as loan sharks and underground money dealers.

Criminal Investigation Bureau officials told a news briefing yesterday that they aim to uphold public security and prevent major gangs from disguising themselves as political parties to interfere in the run-up to next year’s elections, as well as to cut off their funding from outside Taiwan and money laundering operations.

A total of 350 people suspected of criminal activities were detained and questioned, including 45 alleged gangsters wanted by police and four members of the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) in central Taiwan, bureau Director Huang Ming-chao (黃明昭) said.

The sweeps targeted members of major crime syndicates — including the Bamboo Union, the Four Seas Gang and the Heavenly Way Alliance — who have allegedly been involved in street violence, blackmail, larceny, drug trafficking and illegal firearms possession, he said.

Most suspects would face charges, along with breaches of the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪條例), Huang said, adding that 15.5kg of narcotics were also found in the possession of several suspects, who would face charges under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).

Forty-four suspects were detained for alleged possession of illegal firearms, as authorities seized 80 handguns and assault rifles, some of which had been modified, bureau official Lin Shu-kai (林書楷) said.

Lin said that he and his unit raided six facilities where firearms were being produced and modified, curtailing a portion of the illegal weapons trade.

Officials displayed cash seized from 92 alleged loan sharks and 19 unlicensed money dealers, who allegedly conducted unlicensed wire transfers and other money laundering activities, mostly in connection with criminal gangs and other illegal enterprises.

The officials said that they seized NT$280 million (US$9.06 million) in funds transfered by unlicensed money dealers, as well as NT$3.91 million in cash and six properties with an estimated total value of NT$77 million.

Bureau units in central Taiwan detained and questioned members of the Bamboo Union, including the four CUPP members, who were allegedly running illegal casinos and had been linked to blackmail and attacks related to loan shark and debt collections, the officials said.

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