Taiwan News Quick Take - Taipei Times
Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

CNA, with staff writer

SOCIETY

Lantern festivals scheduled

The first of two Pingsi Sky Lantern Festivals is to take place during the Lantern Festival in New Taipei City on March 2, featuring lantern launches, performances and other activities, the city’s Tourism and Travel Department said yesterday. The festival is to take place at Shifen Sky Lantern Square from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, and is to feature eight launches of lanterns, as well as stations staffed by Sanrio-themed mascots. Participants interested in launching a lantern that evening can get a free coupon from event planners, starting at 10am. New Taipei City authorities are partnering this year with the local branch of Sanrio Co, the Japanese company behind Hello Kitty and other popular cartoon characters. The second festival is scheduled on Sept. 24 during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

CRIME

Bali detains Taiwanese

Eight Taiwanese suspects in a cross-border fraud ring who were recently arrested by Indonesian authorities remained detained on Bali yesterday, while 55 Chinese members of the ring were returned to China, Indonesian police said. The Taiwanese are suspected members of a telecom fraud ring that also includes 55 Chinese, four Indonesians and one Malaysian. They were tracked down by Indonesian law enforcement officials at four locations in Bali on Jan. 11 and accused of swindling money from people in Taiwan and China. Taiwan’s representative office in Jakarta was reported to be in talks with the Indonesian authorities, in the hope that the men can be returned to Taiwan.

CRIME

Japan jails Taiwanese

A Taiwanese man was on Thursday given a 25-year sentence and fined ¥10 million (US$91,000) by the Naha district court on the charge of masterminding the attempted smuggling of illicit drugs into Japan. The 45-year-old man, whose identity was not revealed, was caught while trying to move 597kg of methamphetamines to his yacht from an unidentified ship in the East China Sea in May 2016. “This is an organized criminal act that is of a magnitude that would have inevitably caused harm to Japan,” the presiding judge in the court in Okinawa’s capital said. Two other Taiwanese involved in the case were each sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined ¥5 million in November last year.

TRAFFIC

New route to partly open

The first section of the Suhua Highway (蘇花公路) improvement project, a road that cuts through the mountains along the east coast, is to open on Monday at 4pm, in time for surging travel demand around the Lunar New Year holiday, the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) said yesterday. The 9.7km stretch passes from Yilan County’s Suao (蘇澳) to Hualien County’s Dongao (東澳), the DGH said. The new road includes the Suao Tunnel, the Baimi Bridge, the Yongle Bridge, the Dongao Tunnel and the Dongyue Tunnel, after which it rejoins the original highway. The first section is expected to be safer and faster than the existing road, taking 10 minutes instead of 30, the DGH said, but added that commercial vehicles are currently not allowed on the route. There is to be a maximum speed limit of 60kph and a ban on overtaking vehicles. The full Suhua Highway overhaul project is to be completed by the end of next year, which would reduce travel time between Yilan and Hualien from about two-and-a-half hours to 80 minutes, the transport ministry said.

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