Local courts last year confiscated nearly NT$2.4 billion (US$80.2 million) from fraud rings, the Ministry of the Interior said on Monday.
Since August 2016, when the National Police Agency established a unit dedicated to combating fraud, law enforcement agencies have arrested 6,389 fraud suspects, found 106 fraud call centers and confiscated a total of NT$337.9 million from fraud rings, the ministry said.
An increasing number of people have been sentenced to at least three years in prison for fraud, the ministry said, adding that some suspects charged with multiple offenses have received 10-year terms.
While in the past, only 5 percent of fraud ring members faced legal action, last year 54.9 percent were indicted and nearly NT$2.4 billion was confiscated, it said.
The Taichung District Court on Jan. 27 sentenced five members of a fraud ring to three years of community service and between two-and-a-half and five years in prison, the ministry said.
To safeguard the rights of victims, the judiciary will not tolerate fraud, it added.
The agency has dispatched police to other nations to build contacts and assist with the fight against global fraud, it added.
Over the past two years, police have worked with foreign law enforcement agencies to locate 14 overseas call centers and identify 357 fraud suspects, the ministry said, adding that 484 Taiwanese fraud suspects have been repatriated in the period.
The government has tightened regulations on foreigners applying for prepaid calling cards and now requires telecoms to carefully examine two photographic IDs before providing a cellphone number, the ministry said.
Telecoms have also been asked to display a caller’s number on international calls, as such calls are more likely to be fraudulent, it said.
Banks are also required to carefully review photographic IDs and other information before approving applications to open accounts, it added.
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