Local courts last year confiscated nearly NT$2.4 billion (US$80.2 million) from fraud rings, the Ministry of the Interior said on Monday.
Since August 2016, when the National Police Agency established a unit dedicated to combating fraud, law enforcement agencies have arrested 6,389 fraud suspects, found 106 fraud call centers and confiscated a total of NT$337.9 million from fraud rings, the ministry said.
An increasing number of people have been sentenced to at least three years in prison for fraud, the ministry said, adding that some suspects charged with multiple offenses have received 10-year terms.
While in the past, only 5 percent of fraud ring members faced legal action, last year 54.9 percent were indicted and nearly NT$2.4 billion was confiscated, it said.
The Taichung District Court on Jan. 27 sentenced five members of a fraud ring to three years of community service and between two-and-a-half and five years in prison, the ministry said.
To safeguard the rights of victims, the judiciary will not tolerate fraud, it added.
The agency has dispatched police to other nations to build contacts and assist with the fight against global fraud, it added.
Over the past two years, police have worked with foreign law enforcement agencies to locate 14 overseas call centers and identify 357 fraud suspects, the ministry said, adding that 484 Taiwanese fraud suspects have been repatriated in the period.
The government has tightened regulations on foreigners applying for prepaid calling cards and now requires telecoms to carefully examine two photographic IDs before providing a cellphone number, the ministry said.
Telecoms have also been asked to display a caller’s number on international calls, as such calls are more likely to be fraudulent, it said.
Banks are also required to carefully review photographic IDs and other information before approving applications to open accounts, it added.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
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