The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is working closely with local judicial authorities and foreign governments to exchange intelligence on Taiwanese telecom fraud rings that operate overseas.
The cooperation is going smoothly, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday, rejecting a local media report that said it was reluctant to help local crime-fighting authorities keep in touch with their foreign counterparts to stop such crime.
Citing unidentified sources, the Chinese-language Apple Daily said that the EU had previously issued a warning to the nation’s representative offices in Europe, alerting them that telecom fraud rings could jeopardize Taiwan’s image.
Such crimes could even force the EU to reconsider visa-free entry privileges extended to Republic of China passport holders since 2011, the report said.
Ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) rejected the report, saying that no countries that have granted visa-free treatment have ever expressed such concern to any of the nation’s overseas offices.
The ministry said it and five other government branches last year convened an interministerial platform on combating telecom fraud, which is working smoothly.
Through the platform which was created in June last year, MOFA, the Ministry of Justice, the High Prosecutor’s Office, the Mainland Affairs Council, the National Police Agency and the National Immigration Agency discuss concrete measures to prevent the spread of Taiwanese fraud rings overseas, a MOFA European Affairs Department official said.
Seven meetings have been held so far, the official said, adding that nine European countries have formed intelligence exchange channels with Taiwan over the issue.
The official did not disclose which countries.
In other news, an annual MOFA-funded short film competition is calling for local and international submissions of films that feature human interest stories with beautiful scenery from around Taiwan, with the aim of promoting the nation’s beauty to the world.
Now in its third year, Trending Taiwan is seeking submissions of three-minute short films, MOFA said in a statement.
The films should document a human interest story that took place in Taiwan and should show the beauty of Taiwan to audiences, it added.
The contest is open to people of all nationalities and ages, with a submission deadline of Oct. 16.
Films that pass preliminary screenings are to advance to a final round, followed by an award ceremony to be held on Nov. 8, with a NT$200,000 prize going to the winner.
To encourage more foreign nationals to take part in the contest, MOFA has set up a special international participation category this year. The No. 1 finisher in the category is also to be awarded NT$200,000, MOFA said.
MOFA said it hopes that these creative films can show Taiwan’s diversified and energetic culture to the global community.
For more information, visit the contest’s Chinese-language Web site at http://topic.cheers.com.tw/event/trendingtaiwan/2017.
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Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up