Taipei City cracks down on economic crime


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Taipei City Government had pursued 708 cases of economic crime in the first 10 months of this year, up by 14.5 percent year on year, the municipal Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics reported yesterday.

According to department officials, as much as NT$560 million (US$17.3 million) worth of illegal earnings from these cases was tracked by municipal law enforcement agents, with 49.5 percent of the total value incurred from 493 infringements on intellectual property rights, such as the illegal downloading of music or films.

The number of criminal cases related to illegal or violent debt collection rose several fold, prompting municipal police authorities to step up their crackdown on underground loan sharks, the officials said, ascribing the phenomenon to excess consumption loans granted by banks to individual clients, who then turn to loan sharks to repay their debts.