During the June 26 Executive Yuan meeting on law and order, Premier Sean Chen praised the outstanding results of various criminal investigations and crackdowns, the decrease in the crime rate and increase in the rate of solving criminal cases from January to May. He also affirmed the marked increase in the number of municipality, county and city chiefs personally presiding over law and order meetings this May.
The meeting included two briefings by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), one about the state of social order as a whole and the other about cross-strait cooperation to fight cross-border telecommunications fraud, as well as a report by the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) on efforts to fight illegal capital raising.
After listening to the MOI’s report and analysis about current criminal justice efforts, Premier Chen noted the public is very concerned about the efficacy of crackdowns on drunk driving. Minister without Portfolio Lin Jung-tzer convened a meeting on June 6 with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the MOJ and the MOI’s National Police Agency (NPA) to discuss revising current laws, increasing road checks and publicizing against drunk driving more frequently. Lin asked these agencies to go all-out to implement current measures, take constancy of the law into consideration when amending laws and base standards for unacceptable alcohol levels on scientific evidence.
Premier Chen also expressed concern about drugs on campuses, saying statistics show that the number of students alleged to be involved in drug abuse has been on the rise. Of the 803 people arrested in the two-day nationwide narcotics crackdown May 31 through June 1, 33 (or 4.1 percent) were students, who were involved in a total of 31 cases.
“This effort was a success for police and investigation authorities, but it also shows that the infiltration of drugs into schools is a serious problem,” Chen said. The premier instructed the Ministry of Education, in concert with the MOJ, NPA and Ministry of National Defense, to immediately deliberate concrete policy responses and submit a report on drug prevention for discussion.
Following the MOI’s report about cross-strait cooperation to investigate telecommunications fraud involving a third area, the premier said that the NPA’s vigorous crackdowns on such scams in recent years have produced remarkable achievements. In the three rounds of cooperation between the NPA and law enforcement agencies from the Chinese mainland and Southeast Asian countries, 704 Taiwanese suspects involved in the telecom scams were sent back to Taiwan. In addition, the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance has been expanded to include cross-border telecom fraud.
According to the National Police Agency, Projects 0310, 0928 and 1129, cooperative efforts between the police of Taiwan and mainland China to stop telecom fraud executed from a third area, have lead to the arrest of a total of 2,056 suspects, 704 of them Taiwanese in Southeast Asian countries who were then repatriated. Of those 704, 449 were taken into custody, a detention rate of 63.78 percent. Of the 425 Taiwanese extradited under Projects 0310 and Project 0928, 254 and 86 suspects were prosecuted, respectively, achieving an aggregate prosecution rate of 80 percent. (The suspects of Project 1129 are still under investigation.)
Moreover, 91 suspects from Project 0310 were sentenced to at least a year in prison after their first trial, while 24 suspects from Project 0928 were given at least a year behind bars after their first trial. Sentencing for these criminals was significantly tougher than typical sentencing for fraud convictions tried in district courts in 2010.
“The government’s resolution and concrete results in fighting fraud have impressed the public,” the premier said. He praised NPA Director-General Wang Cho-chiun and his staff for their exceptional performances and asked the MOI to reward them for their dedication.
Premier Chen also pointed out that he had requested the MOJ to add an article about the crime of aggravated fraud to the Criminal Code; this proposal has been sent to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation. The premier also asked the MOI to send the Legislative Yuan prosecution and verdict reports about Taiwanese suspects deported from Southeast Asia as a reference for amending the fraud law.
Premier Chen said the Investigation Bureau’s report concerning illegal capital raising was a great reference because it thoroughly analyzed criminal methods, significant cases and relevant issues. He encouraged the bureau to further increase public awareness so more citizens could know how to protect themselves and be on guard against risks. Chen said the bureau could study the anti-fraud team’s methods, and he asked it to discuss the creation of a platform for informing the public with the agencies that attend its briefing about preventing economic crimes.
“Since illegal capital raising does harm on a vast scale, the Investigation Bureau should keep it a top priority,” he said.
Regarding problems with multi-level marketing (MLM) business management, the premier said the Ministry of Education, MOJ, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and Fair Trade Commission should cooperate to safeguard citizens’ property.
As for “mutual benefit associations for rebirth”, in which elderly people pool their money to pay for each other’s funerals, the premier assigned the FSC to determine how they function and whether they are legal. He said the FSC could convene other agencies to discuss the issue and offer solutions if necessary.