Sun, Nov 12, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Interior ministry keeps eye out for reprobate police

NATIONAL SHAME Law enforcement officers have recently faced criticism over a number of scandals; from drunk driving and gambling to kidnapping

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of the Interior yesterday announced it would increase inspection of the police following a recent spate of scandals involving police officers.

"The police authority has estimated there are more than two hundred police officers who may have close relations with gangsters or be involved in corruption, accounting for 0.3 percent of the nation's total of 67,000 police officers. Another 0.7 percent of police were considered to be working `abnormally,' but 99 percent of police officers are good police," Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) told a press conference yesterday.

Lee and National Police Agency Director-General Hou You-yi (侯友宜) yesterday held a meeting with chiefs of police from around the nation and asked them to crack down on corruption and other scandals involving police officers.

"I asked chief of police from around the country to submit a list of police officers suspected of involvement in corruption and other scandals, and the national police agency will liaise with prosecutors to conduct investigations," said Hou.

If a police officer was found to be involved in wrongdoings but his supervisor had failed to report the matter, the supervisor would also be punished, Hou said.

Hou said the national police agency decided to expand its inspection division to crackdown on bad officers.

Police have been under criticism over a number of scandals involving police officers.

In July, five Taipei County police officers, including Tsai Jung-yuan (蔡榮源), the former chief of Sanchung Precinct, were indicted on suspicion of receiving NT$40 million (US$1,221,700) in bribes for covering up illegal baccarat casinos.

An Ilan police officer Hung I-fung (洪一峰) was suspected of robbing a bank in the county.

Earlier this month, a highway patrol officer Chang Chen-lung (張城龍), who was allegedly drunk driving while on duty, rammed his patrol car into a motorist on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, killing him instantly.

Chang, suspended from his job, was under criminal investigation for the incident.

Earlier this month, another three Taipei police officers were detained on suspicion of asking illegal casinos for protection money.

Last week, a Taipei police officer Lee Yu-sung (李旻松) was allegedly found leaking investigation information to a criminal group which kidnapped a woman.

Lee was suspended from his job and faces a criminal investigation.

In another case last week, a high ranking police officer Yeh Hsin-i (葉信義) with the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), was alleged to have joined a group of friends to harass a factory owner.

Yeh was released on bail by prosecutors.

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