Security worries DPP
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday called on the government not to open to Chinese investment, saying it would jeopardize national security. Former Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) said at a DPP caucus press conference that Taiwan was not short on capital, but did need more cutting-edge technology. “Taiwan welcomes direct foreign investment because it can bring cutting-edge technology to the country. However, does China lead Taiwan in technology? No. And so it is not necessary to open to Chinese investment,” Hong said. The government should refrain from promoting such an immature policy until voters have reached a consensus on opening to Chinese capital, Hong added.
Chinese official to visit
China’s top fisheries administrator will lead a delegation to Taiwan next month for talks on cooperation in the fishing industry, Council of Agriculture Fisheries Administration Director Sha Chih-yi (沙志一) said during a fact-finding visit to Kinmen on Monday. As Kinmen lies closer to China’s Fujian Province than to Taiwan proper, there have been frequent reports of Chinese fishing boats intruding into Kinmen’s waters. Sha said he was concerned about Kinmen’s fishery environment, as Chinese poachers often use illegal fishing methods, such as electrofishing and dynamite, to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection. Such illegal practices can be extremely destructive to the surrounding ecosystem, as electric currents or explosions often destroy the underlying habitats, such as coral reefs, that support the fish. Sha said fishery issues would also be put on the agenda for the fourth round of cross-strait talks scheduled for later this year.
Alleged crime lord arrested
The alleged mastermind of a drug trafficking ring suspected of using young women to transport contraband has been arrested, the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) announced on Monday. The suspect, identified only by his surname, Liu (劉), was arrested on Sunday in Keelung on charges of having smuggled at least 8kg of high-grade heroin into Taiwan over the past two weeks alone, MJIB officials said. Liu’s capture followed the arrest of a 31-year-old woman on Thursday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle 10 heroin bricks weighing a total of 3.5kg into the country from Myanmar, the officials said. Since direct flights between Taiwan and Yangon were launched last year, MJIB agents said the four weekly Taipei-Yangon flights have become a new drug trafficking route. After three drug trafficking mules were apprehended over the past six months, the smugglers changed tactics by hiring young and pretty married women with children to serve as mules, officials said.
Prison guards indicted
Prosecutors yesterday indicted 49 people, including 15 former and current prison guards, on bribery charges. Prosecutors are seeking jail terms of between 12 and 26 years for the guards at Tucheng Detention Center for blackmailing detainees and taking bribes from them in return for favors, according to the indictment. The guards accepted bribes of up to NT$10,000 to smuggle prohibited items for detainees, such as cigarettes, alcohol, pornography and MP3 players, the indictment said. The other people indicted included detainees and their relatives and friends.