Cabinet to probe criminal gangs links to China

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 06, 2017 - Page 3

The Cabinet is to look into the financing of organized crime groups with alleged links to China following violence after a cross-strait music event at National Taiwan University (NTU) on Sept. 24 allegedly committed by members of the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP).

During yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Premier William Lai (賴清德) told the ministries of the interior and justice to draft measures against criminal activities that are aimed at creating disruption and insecurity, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.

“It has to be learned if such crime organizations have received funding from secret sources,” Lai was quoted as saying. “We cannot allow the public to lose confidence in the government’s ability to ensure security.”

Security is a priority of his social policies, and the government has to crack down on criminal activities and redouble its efforts to root out criminal organizations, he said.

Legal inadequacies would also be addressed in the fight against such activities, he said.

Although neither Lai nor any other Cabinet officials named names, it was understood that he was addressing pro-unification parties allegedly connected with organized crime groups, in particular the CUPP.

CUPP members have often been seen disrupting otherwise peaceful protests, including the one at the Sept. 24 protest by NTU students against a cross-strait musical event on the campus.

Asked if law enforcement authorities were looking into the financing of the CUPP or other groups, Hsu said the police and intelligence agencies are investigating such claims, but details of ongoing investigations cannot be discussed.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) had alleged that CUPP Chairman Chang An-le (張安樂), also known as “White Wolf,” has received funding from Beijing to run the party.

Law enforcement is also working to understand if crime organizations have used the legal shell of a political party to conduct criminal activities, Hsu said.

“Although the premier did not specify any groups, any group to which the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪防制條例), which deals with violent, consistent and organized crimes, applies will be investigated,” Hsu said.

The Cabinet is to hold a top-level security meeting to discuss how to combat new types of criminal activity, Hsu said.