Police in Hsinchu on Thursday arrested seven people suspected of being members of the Three Circles Gang for alleged profiteering by violence, blackmail and extortion.
Among the suspects arrested in the raids was an elderly man surnamed Lai (賴), who prosecutors believe is the gang leader.
Prosecutors said they intend to charge the seven with assault, blackmail and contraventions of the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪防制條例).
Gang members allegedly demanded protection payments from shops, restaurants and night market vendors in Hsinchu city and county, collecting an estimated NT$9 million (US$291,734) over the past few years, prosecutors said.
After receiving complaints, Hsinchu police placed the alleged gang members under surveillance and identified the company Jhudong Enterprise as a cover, they said.
Lai allegedly instructed gang members to collect protection money from businesses of up to NT$20,000 per month, prosecutors said, adding that if the businesses did not pay, gang members would splash excrement and urine onto the offending storefront or smash the shop with metal rods and baseball bats.
The gang’s most profitable sources of protection money came from night clubs, message parlors, businesses offering prostitution services and “modeling agencies” that provide young women for escort and sex services, police said.
Lai got his start in the 1970s as a gangster in the county’s Jhudong Township (竹東), then gathered members to form the Three Circles Gang, officials said.
They have previously pitched street battles with other gangs for control of territory, they added.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
GOOD INFLUENCE: Kwan said his mother tutored him at home for a few years, saying that she had to protect his ‘creativity’ as his writing had suffered Director and coproducer of the Oscar-winning absurdist comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once Daniel Kwan (關家永) on Sunday dedicated the movie to his Taiwanese mother, who he said supported his creativity growing up. “She is someone who sacrificed a lot for her kids,” Kwan, 35, said backstage at the Oscars. The movie, released early last year, received a commanding 11 nominations at the Academy Awards, and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, with whom he also directed the 2016 fantasy film Swiss Army
HYGIENE KEY: The CDC reported two cases of enterovirus 71, which can cause serious complications, and as there have been no recent outbreaks, children are not immune Two cases of enterovirus 71 (EV71) were reported last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that it was a warning sign, as the virus has not been detected for more than a year. Parents are advised to remind their children to practice good hand hygiene, it said. Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉), director of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Center, said that 165,230 people visited a hospital for diarrhea last week, which is a high number. Most of the diarrhea case clusters were caused by norovirus infection, but there were also enterovirus cases, and weekly caseloads are slowly increasing, Guo said. Most of
A bipartisan US congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan yesterday on a two-day visit that is to include meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other senior government officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The delegation comprises Republican US representatives and Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Ken Calvert, Tom Cole, Dave Joyce and Mike Garcia, as well as Democratic US Representative Ed Case, the ministry said in a news release. Upon their arrival at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), the five representatives were welcomed by North American Affairs Department Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典), it said. During their visit, they are to meet