Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Several suspected gang members indicted in sweep

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei prosecutors indicted 36 alleged members of the notorious Four Seas gang (四海幫) yesterday as part of one of the most aggressive crackdowns on domestic gangs in recent years.

Gang bosses Yang Kuang-nan (楊光南), Lien Cheng-yu (練成瑜) and Chou Hsing-hua (鄒興華) were among the names listed on the indictment list.

Prosecutors suspect the bosses helped gangsters run underground banks, futures markets and illegal casinos.

The gangsters were charged under the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪條例) and the Securities Transaction Law (違反證券交易法), as well as for gambling.

Prosecutors requested that the Taipei District Court sentence Yang and Lien to six years in prison while a five-year sentence was requested for Chou.

Prosecutors said the bosses were "clever gangsters" who live in luxurious residences around Taipei and associate with heads of companies and celebrities.

Prosecutors said the gangsters lent funds to white-collar individuals, but used violence to force them to pay back their debts.

Prosecutors said Lien is a low-profile gangster who worked behind the scenes.

He also said he was the main provider of funds for day-to-day operations.

Prosecutors said the indictments would deal a severe blow to organized crime.

Prosecutors said Lien is a shareholder in the local operator of US-based cable channel HBO.

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