Cops bribed by illegal casino operators in Taiwan - allegedly

An early warning system that frustrated police raids

This week saw major police swoops on 32 locations in the Banciao District of Taipei City as prosecutors investigated a large-scale bribery case in which a number of police officers have been accused of accepting bribes from illegal gambling operators in return for giving early warnings on planned raids.

The China Post reports that the 32 locations including three police stations, eight arcade shops and private residences, with 8 arcade store owners detained Wednesday.

Earlier reports on the investigation suggested that mobile phones and telephone books belonging to certain police officers had been seized for forensic examination by prosecutors as 11 policemen with ranks up to squad leader were interrogated. Prosecutors have emphasised that any suspects involved will be formally arrested as sufficient evidence becomes available.

The United Evening News reported that some of the arrested arcade operators had admitted to providing illegal gambling facilities and had named police officers that work or previously worked in the Daan Police District that they had bribed. The informants said that the amounts paid were in the NT$ 20 000 to NT$ 50 000 per week range, with higher payments going to policemen holding the rank of superintendent

Prosecutors were playing their cards close to their chests this week, claiming that the case was of a very senstive nature, and that witnesses or suspects could be endangered by the premature release of information.

However, according to a number of media reports, the illegal organisation behind the arrested operators owns several arcade stores in the Daan district that are in reality Baccarat and Texas Hold 'em casinos.

The police officers are alleged to have taken the bribes regularly through middlemen who were former police officers.

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