Fri, Oct 28, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff Writer, with CNA

CRIME

Officials charged with graft

Five customs officials, along with 17 customs brokers and importers, and a legislative aide, were indicted by prosecutors yesterday in what could be one of the biggest corruption scandals ever uncovered in the Directorate-General of Customs (DGOC). Among those indicted was Lu Tsai-yih (呂財益), former deputy chief of the directorate. Prosecutors are seeking a 16-year jail term for him and recommended that he be stripped of his civil rights for eight years. The other four indicted officials are Department of Valuation director Shih Chung-mei (史中美), staff member Chen Yu-chu (陳玉珠) and Keelung Customs Office employees Cheng Chang-ta (鄭張達) and Lin Tung-ying (林東瑩). The officials, led by Lu, are suspected of colluding with customs brokers and importers to help smuggle banned products into the country, prosecutors said. They say that on Oct. 28 last year, Lu accepted bribes of NT$300,000 from a customs broker through then-legislative assistant Chang Sheng-tai (張勝泰). Lu later returned the money, they said.

CROSS-STRAIT TIES

Peace unlikely: US report

China’s growing military power lowers the likelihood of a peaceful resolution to the tensions across the Taiwan Strait, according to a draft report by a US congressional commission. However, increased economic and trade interaction between the two sides reduces the possibility of war “in the near future,” the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in the final draft of its annual report. China “has progressed substantially” in military modernization since 2009, including flight testing its J-20 stealth fighter, its first aircraft carrier and the world’s latest anti-ship ballistic missile, the report said. Such modernization gives China the military advantage, “making it less likely that a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan issue will occur,” the report said.

SOCIETY

Money donated to Thailand

The government yesterday said it has donated US$100,000 to flood-stricken Thailand and has also formed a task force aimed at helping Taiwanese in that country. With the country suffering its worst flooding in half a century, the financial losses of Taiwanese businesspeople there could reach billions of dollars, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. A final group of 23 Taiwanese traveling in the kingdom would return home today as originally planned. The government issued its highest-level “red” travel alert for Thailand on Friday last week. Meanwhile, the Thai-Taiwan Business Association (TTBA) on Wednesday established a relief aid network to provide assistance to Taiwanese enterprises and expatriates in the kingdom affected by the flooding.

CRIME

Ceiling banger charged

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday indicted a woman surnamed Yang (楊) on charges of coercion for hammering on her ceiling 102 times in half a year, leading to a complaint from her upstairs neighbor, surnamed Hsieh (謝). The notice of complaint said that 59-year-old Yang, living on the fourth floor of an apartment building in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), was suspected of having made noises through the night, though Yang denied the charge and said it was Hsieh who made the ruckus. Hsieh also accused Yang of intimidation, saying Yang threatened her with violence, but Yang denied the charge. Prosecutors did not charge Yang with intimidation because of a lack of evidence.

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