Sat, Aug 29, 2015 - Page 10 News List

Jobless pair convicted for selling government land
缺錢缺很大 他們竟連公有地都拿來賣

Vehicles raise dust as they drive along a typhoon-damaged section of Sinwu Road in New Taipei City on Aug. 12.

Photo: Chiang Hsiang, Liberty Times

The year before last, a woman surnamed Lin and a man surnamed Chang in New Taipei City were short of money, so they dishonestly claimed to have ownership of a plot of Aboriginal reserve land, further claiming that it was in an advantageous location that was suitable for commercial use. In this way, they succeeded in defrauding a buyer surnamed Wu of a deposit of NT$100,000.

Lin and Chang, who were both unemployed with no income, knew perfectly well that the plot of land next to Sinwu Road in Sindian District was state-owned land reserved for use by Aborigines and that the Aborigine surnamed Ruan who had ownership of any buildings on the land had no intention of selling them. In spite of this, in May of the year before last, they stealthily mounted a for-sale sign outside the door of the house that attracted the buyer surnamed Wu to come forward and negotiate.

When Lin and Chang saw that they had hooked a big fish, they not only claimed to have property rights to the house and land, but also boasted about how well built the house was and how suitable the location was for doing business. Finding it hard to resist the pair’s persuasive sales pitch, Wu forked out NT$100,000 on the spot to pay the deposit.

Later, when chatting with friends, Wu heard that a for-sale board had once more been set up on the site, upon which he went there to check. Only then did Wu realize that he had been tricked, and he angrily took Lin and Chang to court. Following a trial at the Taipei District Court, the judges found that both Lin and Chang had no income and that they had reached a settlement with the buyer. On July 28 the court sentenced each of the two defendants to three months imprisonment suspended for two years, with leave to appeal.

(Liberty Times, translated by Julian Clegg)


1. short of phr.

缺 (que1)

例: I was short of cash so I sold some shares.


2. have no intention of phr.

無意 (wu2 yi4)

例: I have no intention of getting married before I turn 30.


3. fork out phr.

掏出 (tao1 chu1)

例: Sandra forked out several hundred US dollars to buy a fancy handbag.







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