Ten Keelung police officers were arrested yesterday on suspicion of taking bribes from underground casino operators to provide long-term cover for their illegal operations.
The Taipei branch of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) said in a press statement that more than 20 police officers were believed to be involved, adding that the bribes they had received could total as much as NT$100 million (US$3.3 million).
Prosecutors led bureau agents on a raid at the Keelung City Police Bureau’s First Precinct, as well as at the residences of the individuals suspected of involvement.
In addition to the 10 officers from the First Precinct, two casino operators were arrested and questioned by investigators.
Investigators said some of the suspects would likely be detained after questioning.
The press statement said a First Precinct officer, surnamed Hsieh, had been arrested on March 1 when he parked his car by the street and a casino operator jumped in and handed him NT$175,000 in cash.
Investigators then arrested another police officer from the same precinct as well as three casino operators.
The two officers and three casino operators have since been detained, the statement said.
Some of the five have become witnesses for the prosecution, the statement said, adding they had alleged that Keelung casino operators had paid First Precinct officers NT$440,000 every month over a period of 18 years.
The bureau said the investigation was launched in 2009 after it received complaints that several illegal gambling dens in Keelung were bribing local police officers in exchange for protecting their operations.
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