Law enforcement officers yesterday said that they are embarking on a strict crackdown against gamblers, especially those who bet on the result of this year's presidential election. Meanwhile, the police on Tuesday night arrested three suspects who allegedly hosted an online gambling Web site.
"Gambling is illegal already. If the total amount of bets are too much, we will also indict gambling Web sites' host on charges of `attempting to interfere with the election,'" said Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南). Chen said that law enforcement officers also discovered that most of these gambling site hosts are "doing their jobs" in foreign countries.
Most of them are in China, Hong Kong and Macau. However, he emphasized that officers are monitoring every move of these gamblers and will arrest them when the time is ripe.
According to the police, most gamblers believed that the Lien-Soong camp will win the election by a victory of between 500,000 to 700,000 votes, with an estimated 12 million votes cast. Each bet has to be for at least US$1,000.
Chen would not confirm the information but said that, if true, it will definitely fit the charge of "attempting to interfere with the election."
He said that officers had not arrested anybody related to any huge bets like these as of press time yesterday.
"I have ordered all law enforcement officers to, from now on, carry out the strictest crackdown on gambling, especially gambling that is related to the election," Chen said.
"I hope these crazy gamblers and their huge bets will not affect the result of the election," he said.
Chen said that the police will be the main force to rely on for the crackdown.
"We have 80,000 police officers but only about 3,000 prosecutors and special agents from the ministry's Bureau of Investigation," Chen said.
"Police officers know better than anybody else how to carry out this mission as they have been cracking down on gamblers for years," he said.
The National Police Administration's Criminal Investigation Bureau's Ninth Division, which is also known as the Internet Crime Investigation Squad, arrested Taipei County natives Pan Peng-shan (
In addition to the arrest of the three suspects at Pan's Taishan residence, the police also confiscated a computer, flyers advertising their Web site and an Internet server.
The police said that the three suspects allegedly constructed a Web site for Internet surfers to bet on the result of the presidential election.
The squad said that the three started their "business" two days ago so they have not yet earned any commission from their "customers."
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