Sat, Feb 05, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Government plans crackdown on phone swindles

CNA , TAIPEI

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday that a crackdown on telephone fraud and coercion is one of the government's priorities.

Hsieh made the remarks at a special Cabinet meeting to discuss curbing crime and improving law and order during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Noting that many people have complained about rampant telephone fraud and coercion, Hsieh said law enforcement authorities should cooperate closely in investigating the sources of phone fraud and fake bank accounts in order to prevent criminal rings from using phones to swindle money or coerce people into joining criminal operations.

Law enforcement authorities should also cut red tape and simplify administrative measures to assist victims in retrieving their lost funds.

Hsieh said President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) directed the Cabinet to make clamping down on criminal activities a priority. Government agencies should pay more heed to the average person's feelings about law and order and work harder to raise the crime-fighting approval rating, Hsieh said.

While the number of burglary, fraud, firearm and drug-trafficking cases increased last year, Hsieh said the crime solution rate also rose proportionally.

"We recognize police efforts in this regard," he said.

Hsieh urged the police to quickly respond to crime reports and recruit volunteers to improve services for victims of crime.

Law enforcement authorities should also step up publicity to let the public appreciate progress in crime-fighting and allay their misgivings, he said.

Later in the day Hsieh visited Changhua, where he presided over the opening of the 2005 Taiwan Flower Expo.

He praised the efforts of Changhua in developing its horticulture industry, saying that it will help improve the employment rate and upgrade the living environment of the people.

The show features a huge rainbow garden, a children's petting zoo, hot-air balloon rides as well as a series of musical performances and other attractions. The exhibition will end on March 13.

Hsieh said he was impressed by the beauty of the flower expo when he visited it last year.

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