《TAIPEI TIMES》 MJIB seizes NT$11bn in illegal funds

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2023/10/27 03:00 ELECTION INTERFERENCE: Offshore funding is being used to finance attempts to influence the Jan. 13 elections, including funneling money to select candidates By Hsieh Chun-lin and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) yesterday said it has seized NT$11.5 billion (US$354.6 million) in illegal remittances, as it warned that foreign actors are using remote funding, Internet betting and cognitive warfare to influence next year’s presidential and legislative elections. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) told a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statues Committee that the ministry had conducted joint operations with the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office from July 3 to July 12 and from Sept. 20 to Sept. 26, targeting underworld banking operators to cut off cash flows funding illicit activities within the nation’s borders. The ministry detailed how offshore funding is being used, including making donations to candidates via Taiwanese businesspeople, contributing to temple charity events, using dummy accounts to “like” specific candidates’ posts and funneling funds to candidates through unregistered banks or cryptocurrency. The MJIB is also to step up efforts to monitor Chinese coming to Taiwan on the pretext of “social interaction,” but who might be involved in attempts to influence the Jan. 13 elections or to conduct illegal activities, Tsai said. When appropriate or necessary, it would launch investigations against individuals to deter foreign actors from using offshore funding to influence Taiwan’s political and financial activities, he added. Separately, National Security Bureau (NSB) Deputy Director-General Hsu Hsi-hsiang (徐錫祥) yesterday said that the bureau is prepared to combat the use of deepfake technology by foreign actors to influence the elections. The NSB has initiated a special project that incorporates other national security agencies to help affected ministries or agencies in issuing news releases to clarify the government’s stance and policies, Hsu said. In addition, it is to train about 220 people to safeguard the presidential and vice presidential candidates, it said. The teams would be assigned to the candidates once the registration process officially concludes on Nov. 24. The NSB said it has included in its budget 220 bulletproof vests this year, along with 12 custom-made bulletproof vests and briefcases for the candidates and their running mates. On Wednesday, the Central Election Commission (CEC) gave a demonstration of operations on the day of the elections, emphasizing the importance of polling station workers being able to handle emergencies. The demonstration in Tainan covered the process for verifying a voter’s identity and casting ballots, as well as vote counting and how to respond in certain scenarios, such as a fire or the discovery of a suspicious package. The ability of polling station workers to deal with unexpected situations is particularly important given the increasing competitiveness of election campaigns, CEC Chairperson Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) told city and county officials attending the demonstration. The spread of false information and attacks from hostile foreign forces also mean that polling station workers need to strictly adhere to laws and regulations to avoid potential disputes, Lee said. Local police also took part in Wednesday’s demonstration showing how to handle a range of situations, including individuals breaking the law by taking photographs or video recording voters within 30m of a polling station or leaving threatening notes in the station. �Additional reporting by CNA 新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES 不用抽 不用搶 現在用APP看新聞 保證天天中獎  點我下載APP  按我看活動辦法

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