Police yesterday announced they had shut down a cross-strait prostitution ring and arrested the alleged ringleaders.
Police said the group took advantage of loopholes in cross-strait exchange laws by bringing in Chinese women as “cultural entertainment performers” and trafficking them for sex.
Under the coordination of the National Immigration Agency (NIA), law enforcement officers with search warrants issued by the Taipei District Court apprehended 13 suspects and three Chinese women in raids in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan on Thursday.
NIA officials said the widening investigation is being handled by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
The two main suspects, a man surnamed Chu (朱) and a man surnamed Kuo (郭), allegedly forged documents, confiscated the women’s passports and used other means to exploit the women for use as sex workers.
Prosecutors said the suspects would likely be indicted on human trafficking charges, offenses against social morality, contravening laws governing the cross-strait relationship and violating the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪條例).
NIA officials said the group allegedly fabricated documents, such as proof of employment, government certificates and qualifications, to bring in young Chinese women as performers in troupes to tour Taiwan.
Law enforcement agencies caught wind of them last year, and through surveillance, they said they found the suspects had brought 82 Chinese women under six separate “tour groups” for entry into Taiwan in the past six months, each of whom was granted a three-month visitor’s visa.
Earlier last week, the NIA broke up another alleged cross-strait prostitution ring, arresting two Taiwanese suspects surnamed Wang (王) and Huang (黃) in China through cross-strait collaboration.
The suspects allegedly took advantage of loopholes in regulations in the government’s “open door” policy for Chinese tourists, bringing in young Chinese women on the pretext of independent travel in Taiwan to obtain short-term tourist visas and trafficking them in the sex trade.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000