Thu, Mar 04, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Commissioner alleges gambling scheme

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) said yesterday that he had stopped a gambling scheme organized by a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vote captain.

"I was very upset when I heard about his plan so I immediately asked him not to do this. It won't help the DPP's campaign at all. It will actually sink this ship," Yang said.

Yang refused to identify the vote captain.

He said that two weeks ago, while the vote captain was chatting with other vote captains for the pan-blue campaign, the DPP captain claimed the green camp would win 55 percent of the votes in the county -- a remark that irritated the blue-camp vote captains.

According to Yang, the DPP vote captain had collected NT$13 million to bet on the DPP and was trying to take advantage of this money to attract more gamblers to bet on the ticket of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his running mate, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Yang said he had discovered the plan and put a stop to it.

"I told him that what he was trying to do wouldn't help. It would only drag us down," Yang said.

However, Yang also told reporters that he heard a rumor that blue-camp vote captains had collected NT$3 million for gambling on the presidential election.

"I just heard about it but I cannot confirm that for you," Yang said. "But at least I stopped something illegal."

Meanwhile, Kaohsiung County Police Department Commissioner Yi Yung-jen (伊永仁) said police have been investigating 59 gambling cases and that each case was related to the presidential election.

The National Police Administration's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said it had arrested a Taoyuan gangster who had bet NT$100 million on the KMT.

According to the CIB, Ho Sheng-sung (何盛松), who is handicapped, earned himself the nickname "King of the Mafia" in Taoyuan and made his career by being a "professional" vote captain.

Ho also allegedly organized casinos in Taoyuan County and ran an underground banking business.

"Ho always used violence to force people to support the candidate for whom he was working," said Hsu Bing-wen (許炳文), a Taoyuan prosecutor who was in charge Ho's arrest yesterday. "In addition to trying to affect the election, he was taking advantage of innocent people, so we had to nail him."

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