Sun, Nov 30, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Police school accused of squandering funds

BY MELODY CHEN  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Chen Chien-ming, left, demands during a press conference yesterday that Chang Ping-wu, center, and Huang Yen-tung, right, from the Central Police University, provide an accounting of the money the university spent on a visit by a delegation of Chinese police officials.

PHOTO: LUO PEI-TEH, TAIPEI TIMES

A Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmaker yesterday accused the Central Police University of squan-dering government money by lavishing NT$1.72 million on 14 high-ranking Chinese police officers during their 10-day stay in Taiwan for a crime-prevention seminar.

Legislator Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) said during the nine-day seminar on cross-strait crime prevention, the visiting policemen published seven papers and spent a total of four hours in seminar meetings.

"Each of the seven papers cost us NT$245,000 on average," Chen said.

He said the Chinese spent most of their time on their Sept. 26 to Oct. 5 trip sightseeing.

"In a banquet for the policemen at the Grand Hotel," Chen said, "a 80-member military band played to entertain them throughout the feast. It was an absolute waste of taxpayers' hard-earned money."

Chen said a university insider had told him about the costs. He said several government agencies, including the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the National Police Administration and the Coast Guard Administration had sponsored the seminar.

According to Chen, the university said it gave the Chinese policemen a high-profile reception because Taiwan badly needs help from China's police forces to track down human smugglers and Tai-wanese criminals who have fled to China and it felt treating the visitors well would help this cause.

Chen, however, called the outlay an intolerable waste and said the university's president, Tsai Te-hui (蔡德輝), should resign.

Chen also threatened to freeze the MAC budget for cross-strait exchange activities next year because the council was the biggest sponsor of the seminar.

Chang Ping-wu (張平吾), head of the university's Department of Crime Prevention and Corruption, defended the school and the seminar budget.

The NT$1.72 million that Chen alleged had been squandered on the Chinese policemen's visit had actually covered all of the personnel fees for the seminar, Chang said.

More than 300 people attended the seminar, he said.

"Only about NT$700,000 was spent on the Chinese policemen," he said.

Chang said also said the Chinese officials had spent most of their time visiting government agencies involved in cross-strait crime prevention, not sightseeing.

He said the Criminal Investigation Bureau, the Coast Guard Administration and the Hsinchu shelter for illegal female immigrants from China were among the places visited.

Chang also said Chen's source was not from the university.

"The person is from the Taiwan Police College," he said.

Taiwan began holding seminars on cross-strait crime prevention in 2000.

"The outcome of the seminars has been remarkable," Chang said.

According to Chang, the seminars have helped Taiwan's police form a network of personal connections with their Chinese counterparts that has helped them in the repatriation of more than 5,000 illegal Chinese immigrants.

China has also repatriated some 100 Taiwanese criminals since the first seminar took place, he said.

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