Cop punished over gun
A Taipei police officer has been punished for allowing some tourists to handle his firearm last week, a senior police officer said yesterday. The officer, surnamed Luo (羅), who works at the Zhongshan Police Station, received demerits for breaking firearm regulations, the station’s deputy director said. Although the policeman said he had allowed the Japanese visitors to handle his pistol as a friendly, diplomatic gesture, this kind of situation cannot be forgiven, the deputy director said. His immediate supervisor was also reprimanded. Luo, who has worked as a police officer for 18 years, allowed a group of foreign visitors to play with his gun on Feb. 4, while he was working at an intersection near the Martyrs’ Shrine, a popular Taipei tourist site. In a video posted online, Luo was also seen loading and unloading the cartridge in front of the curious tourists. The policeman said he only handed the gun to them after he removed the cartridge. Officials from the National Police Agency ordered an investigation into the issue after viewing the video post.
Spider lives in lady’s ear
A resident of Greater Taichung was surprised to find that a small spider had set up home in her ear and had even spun a web there, the doctor who helped her get rid of the arachnid said yesterday. The 49-year-old woman first consulted the doctor last month at the city’s Cheng Ching General Hospital after suffering itchiness and stinging in her left ear for several days. The 3mm spider was then found hiding in the woman’s ear canal, said Liu Po-jen (劉博仁), director of the hospital’s ear-nose-throat department. “The tiny web was spread out in the ear. It looked quite amazing,” said the doctor, who first used droplets to kill the spider before snatching it and clearing out the web. The woman was quoted as saying that she guessed the spider probably got into her ear after she “disturbed” it while cleaning her house. The doctor added that despite having seen various unusual items in people’s ears, from insects, seeds and stones to children’s toys, he had never seen an actual spider web in a person’s ear. He reminded people not to try picking their ears if they suspect tiny creatures are in there because they might crawl deeper inside. Instead, he suggested dropping some oil into the ear to kill the invader and then visiting a doctor.
Former trader convicted
The Taitung District Court convicted Yu Huai-yin (游淮銀), a former legislator and a big-name stock trader, of bank “tunneling” and sentenced him to six years and six months in prison. Yu, who served as a legislator for Changhua County from 1993 to 1999 and as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator-at-large from 1999 to 2002, was involved in tunneling into Taitung Business Bank when he served as board chairman from 1995 to 1996. He was accused of using his account and ordering his relatives, friends and the bank’s supervisor, Liu Yu-ju (劉育汝), to use their accounts to take out huge loans that lost the bank nearly NT$2.6 billion (US$88 million). Some of the money was diverted into the Full Long Group, which was established by Yu. The fraud was exposed when Central Deposit Insurance Corp (CDIC) took over the bank in the wake of a bank run. CDIC reported the crime in 2003. Yu was prosecuted for breach of trust and for violating the Business Entity Accounting Act (商業會計法).