Law enforcement officials yesterday announced the results of a crackdown on organized crime and illegal loan operations, including raids on eight illegal weapons shops and 58 illegal money-lending businesses that saw hundreds of people questioned.
Among those who were detained is a man surnamed Tao (陶), the suspect in a shooting incident on June 14 in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Deputy Commissioner Chu Tsung-tai (朱宗泰) said.
Tao was apprehended on Friday in Taipei’s Daan District (大安) and was in possession of a modified pistol and three rounds of ammunition, Chu said.
Photo: Yao Yue-hung, Taipei Times
The weapon was one of 51 illegal firearms — including rifles smuggled into Taiwan via gang networks, handguns and airsoft guns modified to use firearm ammunition — seized in the week-long operation, Chu said.
The raids were conducted to safeguard the public after a spate of violence and gun-related incidents in the past few weeks, he said.
“Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) instructed law enforcement units to crack down on major gang syndicates and their local chapters, while also conducting searches of loan shark operations, gambling dens, illegal weapons shops and other places associated with criminal activities,” Chu said.
“We detained 38 suspects for alleged possession of illegal firearms or modification of weapons, while six top gang figures and 29 of their subordinates were detained,” he said. “Ten people were detained over alleged violence and other offenses linked to debt collection.”
Twenty-five people were detained at seven illegal banking operations, and investigators found records showing about NT$1.4 billion (US$44.9 million) in transactions, he said.
Police seized Maseratis, BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and other luxury cars presumably taken as collateral from people taking out loans, Chu said.
The operation also included raids on premises suspected of providing sex services, Taipei City Police Department Chief Chen Chia-chang (陳嘉昌) said.
“We targeted premises that have been reported to offer illegal sexual services and many of them are likely controlled by gangs,” Chen said. “The authorities will make every effort to revoke their business licenses, and cut off water and electricity services to them so they are forced to shut down, which will help stem criminal activities at the source.”
CIB officials said that they raided an illegal weapons shop in Hsinchu City on Thursday, detaining a man surnamed Chen (陳).
Officers found a modified handgun and six airsoft rifles that the man was allegedly in the process of converting to shoot standard ammunition, the CIB officials said.
In Changhua County on Friday, police detained a man surnamed Hung (洪) on suspicion that he operated an illegal weapons shop.
A modified handgun, two shotguns and an unspecified amount of ammunition were recovered, along with tools and parts for firearms, police said.
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