Police yesterday reminded the public to be alert about their personal possessions in crowded places and transport hubs after rounding up a Mongolian pickpocket ring that allegedly targeted commuters on the Taipei MRT.
“We have three suspects detained on theft charges and they are from Mongolia. The case is now under investigation by prosecutors to determine if they have other accomplices,” said Huang Kuo-shih (黃國師), chief of the criminal investigation unit at Taipei’s Daan Police Precinct.
The main suspect is a 21-year-old man surnamed Ankhbayar, who was detained with two older compatriots, both of whom entered Taiwan on tourist visas together with their Mongolian girlfriends.
The three men had been nabbed for theft and were detained in June last year, but were released on bail in February with restriction on their movement, police said.
“This group allegedly went to pickpocket at Taipei MRT stations and in train carriages, targeting female passengers in particular. We therefore urge the public to keep a close watch on their personal belongings and not to leave tote bags and purses open,” said Huang.
Police showed video footage of the group in action at a station, which they said showed Ankhbayar targeting a woman carrying an open bag, lining up behind the woman as she got on the escalator to the platforms.
The video footage allegedly showed Ankhabayar standing right next to the target while stealing her possessions, but his action was obscured by other passengers, and subsequent frames showed the suspect surrounded by his accomplices on the escalator to allegedly share the loot and make their getaway.
Taipei police raided the suspects’ residence in New Taipei City earlier this week, where they recovered materials allegedly stolen from MRT passengers, including cash money, store gift vouchers and seven EasyCards.
Taipei prosecutors yesterday said they were investigating the case and reviewing the evidence to see if the suspects’ girlfriends or other Mongolian nationals had acted as accomplices.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions