Taiwan Police Target Election Gambling

National police Taiwan

Police in Taiwan have announced that there is likely to be more than NT$9.7 billion in circulation in the country in illegal betting rings focused on election betting.

The National Police Agency have announced that police have searched 24 sites suspected of hosting illegal betting, arresting 40 people and seizing a large amount of computer equipment.

Like many countries in east Asia, betting is strictly regulated and the only officially legal form of betting is on state-sanctioned lotteries. But illegal betting is a major problem in the country and there has been a link with political corruption that is causing widespread concern, both in terms of the link with illegal gambling, and with the way that corruption cases are handle.

The Taiwan parliament’s legal committee has asked the Ministry of Justice and Investigation Bureau, in conjunction with the National Police Agency, to produce a report into administrative neutrality and anti-corruption standards.

Persistent problem

Betting on local and national elections remains popular in Taiwan and police have been fighting an ongoing battle to eradicate the persistent problem. In 2016, 45 people were arrested at 31 separate locations when the Taiwan police broke up a betting ring that they feared had the potential to influence the outcome of elections held that year. And ahead of the 2014 local elections, Taiwan police revealed that 2,400 people were being investigated for electoral crimes including vote buying.

Corruption and illegal betting focused on the electoral process has been a source of controversy for successive Taiwan governments, but despite the efforts of lawmakers and police authorities, there seems to have been little progress in stamping out the problem.

 National police Taiwan image taken from shutterstock.com

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