NIA cracks smuggling ring
The National Immigration Agency (NIA) said yesterday that it had cracked a human smuggling ring, arresting its leader. The agency, working in collaboration with the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, arrested alleged ringleader Wu Shih-yao (吳世耀) upon his return to Taiwan. Authorities had received intelligence saying that since last year several Chinese had used forged Republic of China passports to enter Canada from Japan, South Korea, Macau and Malaysia, the agency said. Wu allegedly recruited more than 10 Taiwanese businesspeople in China who would provide the would-be illegal immigrants with boarding passes, it added. The ring made 200,000 Chinese yuan (US$32,590) per successful case, earning more than US$1 million in total, the NIA said. Wu, who denied the charges, was transferred to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning.
Lawmakers to visit US
A group of lawmakers depart for New York today on a visit, organized by the Taiwan-US Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association, to exchange views on important issues with US officials, representatives and academics. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), the head of the association, said the group would be larger than in previous years and consist of eight lawmakers from across party lines. The delegation is to fly to New York to meet with representatives of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies at the UN and members of a US think tank, before heading to Washington to meet with US lawmakers and government officials. The main topics of discussion are expected to be arms sales and Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, Lin said. The group is to finish its visit in San Francisco, where it plans to meet overseas Taiwanese associations.
Units to move to Sinjhuang
Several central and local government units are to move into a newly opened office building in New Taipei City (新北市) in September, which is set to bring new business opportunities to the area. A total of 13 central and local government units, including the Ministry of Culture, the Hakka Affairs Council and the Council of Indigenous Peoples, plan to move into a new building in New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District (新莊), but Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said that according to the floor plan, the entire seventh and eighth floors of the building are to be used for document storage, giving rise to the question of whether the office space is being used efficiently. The Ministry of the Interior’s Construction and Planning Agency said the building would house 3,460 staff.
Fourth JE case reported
The nation saw its fourth case of Japanese encephalitis (JE) this year at the end of last month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported. A 42-year-old male developed symptoms of fever, vomiting and loss of appetite, and later experienced reduced consciousness before being hospitalized and diagnosed with the disease, the CDC said on Tuesday. The patient lives and works close to pig farms, paddy fields and dove cotes, which are the breeding habitats of the Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquito, the main vector for the disease, physician Phillip Lo (羅一鈞) said. Lo cautioned the public to make sure their surroundings are clear of mosquito breeding grounds.