Sun, Apr 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Organized crime act includes fraud

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The legislature on Friday passed amendments to the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪防制條例) to include fraud syndicates, lawmakers said.

The act now defines a “criminal organization” as a group of three or more people using “coercion, fraud or blackmail to commit crimes with the characteristics of continuity and profitability, which is punishable by a maximum of five years in jail.”

Organized criminal groups were defined as “collective” in nature, but groups do not necessarily have to be “properly named or have codes and ceremonies, unchanged residences, habitual participation of members or clear division of labor,” as defined by the act prior to the amendment.

According to the Executive Yuan, since the law was promulgated in 1996 no major amendments have been made to it despite “the rise of a new type of organized criminal group that are more disguised, indirect and multi-layered.”

Indicted instigators, principals, controllers or commanders of a criminal organization can be sentenced to between three and 10 years in jail and a fine of no less than NT$100 million (US$3.3 million), and participants can be sentenced to between six months and five years in jail and a fine of no less than NT$10 million.

Those who recruit people to join organized criminal groups can be sentenced to between six months and five years in jail and a fine of up to NT$10 million, while adults recruiting those under 18 years old can be sentenced to up to one-and-a-half times the penalties for recruitment.

People recruiting by using threats, violence or other forms of coercion could be sentenced to between one and seven years in jail and a maximum fine of NT$20 million, according to the amended law.

The Executive Yuan said that the amended law can punish fraud rings in tandem with the Criminal Code according to Article 339-4, which stipulates that offenses by dissemination of false information to the public through the Internet and other electronic methods are punishable by between one and seven years in jail.

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