A stolen vehicle detector installed at Yangmei (楊梅) toll station on National Freeway No. 1 helped police crack a case against a gang of fraudsters who recruited college students to help them.
Police received “notification of a stolen vehicle” when a car passed through Yangmei toll station and triggered the detection system.
Officers chased and detained the three men inside the vehicle and on searching the car discovered falsified court papers, official court seals, clerk identifications and NT$90,000 in cash.
The men, surnamed Lien (連), Chen (陳) and Wu (吳), were found to be classmates at a vocational high school in Greater Taichung and said that they had been introduced to the gang by classmates.
The men said they had been instructed by a 43-year-old “top gang member” surnamed Huang (黃) to extort money from people by pretending to be prosecutors on March 1, adding that they had handed over the money to Huang at a location in Taipei, who then paid them.
They were heading back to Greater Taichung when the number plate of the stolen car they were driving triggered the system at the Yangmei toll station, notifying freeway police, who then pursued and arrested them.
Based on information received from the men, police staked out the place where they allegedly handed the money to Huang.
After several days of surveillance, Huang and a number of low-level members of his gang, many of whom were students, were arrested.
Police also seized money believed to have been fraudulently obtained during the arrest.
According to police, the detection system has identified many stolen vehicles as well as motorists who drive through the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) section of toll stations to avoid paying.
However, this was the first time it had assisted in cracking a fraud case, police said.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, Staff Writer