Sun, Dec 30, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Takes

Staff writer, with CNA

CRIME

Money laundering rises

Money laundering was the third-largest category of economic crime this year, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. In the first 11 months of the year, there were 501 money laundering cases involving 1,337 suspects and about NT$2.1 billion (US$68.33 million), the ministry said. That compares with 51 money laundering cases involving 274 suspects and NT$1.33 billion in the same period last year, it said. The increase was due to an amendment to the Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法) that took effect on June 28 last year, which expanded the scope of money laundering investigations and laid down stricter rules for high-ranking officials, it said. There were a total of 6,597 economic criminal cases in the 11-month period, of which 60 percent involved infringement of intellectual property rights, ministry data showed. Another 709 cases, or 10.7 percent, involved contravention of financial regulations, including loan sharking, illegal debt collection and illegal financial transactions.

PUBLIC HEALTH

Taipei trails smoke-free

From tomorrow, all hiking trails in Taipei are to become smoke-free, with people who smoke on the trails liable to fines of up to NT$10,000, the Taipei Public Works Department said. A total of 135 hiking trails are to be designated as non-smoking areas, including any observation platforms and pavilions on the routes, the agency said, adding that fines would range from NT$2,000 to NT$10,000. Department official Chen Yen-cheng (陳彥成) said warning signs have been placed along the trails and on route maps and signage.

ABORIGINES

Land rules amended

An amendment passed in the Legislative Yuan on Friday allows Aborigines to take ownership of land left by ancestors without having to wait a minimum of five years, the Council of Indigenous Peoples said in a statement. The amendment to article 37 of the Act for the Utilization and Transfer of Reserved Mountainous Land (山坡地保育利用條例), which governs the conservation and utilization of slopeland, is to allow Aborigines to claim back ancestral land without having to cultivate it or have structures on it for a minimum of five years, the statement said. The five-year threshold restricted the free use of land by Aborigines, it said. Council Minister Icyang Parod said he expected that at least 30,000 Aborigines would benefit from the amendment.

SOCIAL SERVICES

Accessible condo opened

The Pingtung County Government on Tuesday opened an experimental condominium unit in Pingtung City designed for people with disabilities. The barrier-free residential space is a joint project of the Peace Social Welfare and Charity Foundation and the Pingtung Social Affairs Department, the county’s Welfare Center for People with Disabilities director Chen Fen-chin (陳芬芩) said. The 26 ping (85.95m2) condo has three bedrooms, two bathrooms with a shower and toilet, and one shared kitchen and living room, she said, adding that to increase accessibility, the furniture is wheelchair height, the drying rack is connected to an assisted lift and wheelchair rails were installed from the building entrance to the elevator. People with physical disabilities and low-to-medium incomes can apply to live in the unit for free, while other residents would pay a low monthly rent, Director of Social Affairs Liu Mei-shu (劉美淑) said. Residents can live with a personal assistant or a close friend, and perspective tenants can stay in the unit for a five-day trial, she said.

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