New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) yesterday called for more investigations into a series of alleged “real-estate scams” after several police departments reportedly refused to handle victims’ claims on the grounds that they were “real-estate disputes and not fraud.”
Sellers were approached by seemingly ordinary buyers who requested to have ownership of the homes transferred to them after making a down payment, saying that they needed to take out mortgages from banks to make the rest of the payment, Huang told a news conference at the party’s caucus office in Taipei.
Once the buyers obtained the deeds, they sold the homes to an underground money lender and kept all of the money, he said, adding that even if the registration is transferred back to the seller, it would still be collateral for the underground loan.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
All the buyers made the down payments with checks from Chunghua International Asset Development Co (中華國際資產開發有限公司) and were mobilized by real-estate agents from Chunghua Land Administration Agency and Law Firm (中華地政士聯合法律事務所) in Taipei’s Datong District (大同), suggesting a fraud ring was behind the scheme, he said.
Since last year, more than 50 people have lost their homes to the scam, said a man surnamed Hsing (邢), who has filed a lawsuit against Chunghua International Asset Development owner Chen Kuo-shuai (陳國帥) and others involved in a fraudulent sale in January.
“Of those people, only 15 have been willing to show their contract, while the rest refused because they have been threatened by the ring,” Hsing said. “Of the 15, less than half have filed a lawsuit, as the rest are still attempting to report their case to the police, who have refuse to file a report.”
A woman surnamed Chen (陳), who has moved to Yilan County to avoid retaliation by the ring, said she was told by police at Taipei’s Zhongshan Precinct that they could not open a case, because her contract with the buyer has not taken effect.
It was not until she contacted the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Anti-fraud Command Center that the precinct finally agreed to handle her case, she added.
“I hope stuck-up law enforcement officers will open their eyes and see the crime for what it is and feel the agony of victims. This is not a simple real-estate dispute, it is organized fraud,” she said.
She said that when she contacted Chunghua Land Administration Agency and Law Firm last month, an agent named Chen Tsu-fan (沈咨凡) told her that if she wants her home back, she would have to buy shares from Chunghua International Asset Development totaling the equivalent of the remaining payment owed by the initial buyer.
Police and prosecutors have clearly been ineffective in investigating the scams, despite an obvious connection to another fraud case involving Chen Kuo-shuai, Huang said.
Chen Kuo-shuai has been banned from leaving the nation due to his connections with Anlien International Co (安聯國際), which is registered at the same address as Chunghua Land Administration Agency and Law Firm and is involved in a case of fraud against a state-owned bank, he said.
Anti-fraud Command Center Deputy Director Wang Tsung-sheng (王琮聖) apologized to the woman on behalf of police, promising to look into the issue and report the progress of the investigations to Huang as soon as possible.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,