Government cracking down harder on election-related offenses

Taipei, Law enforcement officers have stepped up their investigations into criminal activities related to the Nov. 24 local government election process, several agencies reported Monday during a legislative session.

Police have raided 24 locations, arrested 40 suspects and seized 73 mainframe computers, 163 monitors and NT$1.6391 million (US$53,357) in cash in a recent crackdown on election betting, the National Police Agency (NPA) said in a report to the legislative Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.

According to the NPA report, some NT$9.73 billion has been put into betting on the election races.

Citing the report, NPA Deputy Director-General Chiu Feng-kuang (???) said tighter security measures have been put in place at 3,132 campaign headquarters around the country.

Security has also been tightened at 376 centers housing candidate support groups and at 10,170 service centers and 1,269 business offices set up by candidates, Chiu said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Justice Chang Tou-hui (???) said that as of Nov. 2, some 2,045 cases of alleged election bribery cases involving 4,273 people had been handed to prosecutors, as well as 256 cases of alleged election-related violence involving 340 people.

Among the 2,045 election bribery cases, about 70 percent were related to vote buying and presentation of gifts, which accounted for 808 and 696 of the cases, respectively, he said, citing statistics from the Supreme Prosecutors Office.

Chang said there were also 199 cases involving offers of banquets and 135 offering free travel as vote-buying bribes.

The Investigation Bureau said it will probe allegations of election bribery based on the intelligence it receives and will maintain close contact with the prosecutors working on those cases, in an effort to obtain any criminal evidence of vote-buying.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel