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Taiwan Indicts Seven for Allegedly Running a Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Investment Scheme

Date: 20 Jan 2019
By: Francisco Memoria

Seven people have reportedly been indicted in Taiwan for allegedly running a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme that is said to have attracted about $51 million worth of investments since October of 2016.

According to local media, the seven individuals had been arrested on June 13 of last year, but were only now officially charged with violating banking and business laws in the country. Citing the case’s prosecutors, local news outlet Focus Taiwan noted that a bitcoin investment scheme by itself would be violating the law if it succeeded, but added this one promised investors returns of up to 355% a year.

Despite the promises, the prosecution detailed that most investors didn’t see any return after February of last year, and that these ceased completely in April. This has seen those responsible face additional charges.

One of the seven charged is said to have established offices to attract Taiwanese and Chinese investors. This saw the scheme managed to defraud over 1,000 people in Taiwan, according to the Investigation Bureau under the country’s Ministry of Justice (MJIB).    [FULL  STORY]

Here’s Why the F-35 Won’t Be Coming to Taiwan

The new proposal will push for the release of sixty-six F-16V Block 70 fighters, with an additional six aircraft to replace crashed F-16A/B Block 20s (seventy-two total aircraft).

The National Interest
Date: January 20, 2019
By: by Wendell Minnick

Key point: There are also suspicions in Taiwan that opposition to the sale of a fifth-generation fighter would be raised in Washington over secrecy issues, as mainland Chinese espionage on the island is rampant.

TAIPEI – Taiwan’s air force will cease campaigning for the F-35 Lightning stealth fighter aircraft and will, instead, reissue a request to the U.S. government for F-16 fighters.

The new proposal will push for the release of sixty-six F-16V Block 70 fighters, with an additional six aircraft to replace crashed F-16A/B Block 20s (seventy-two total aircraft).

This is, in part, a resurrection of an abandoned effort to procure sixty-six F-16C/D Block 50/52s killed by the Obama administration due to Chinese pressure. Beijing had dubbed the sale of new F-16s to Taiwan a “red line” and has repeatedly threatened to invade the self-ruled island.

The new campaign will also request co-production and performance-based logistics (PBL) as part of the overall package. PBL would improve combat effectiveness by 80 percent, say Taiwan defense industry sources.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau recommends visiting Aowanda during Lunar New Year

The district office said the Aowanda park will be decorated by cherry blossoms and colorful spring flowers during the LNY holiday

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/20
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Photo courtesy of Forestry Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – For those who haven’t decided where to go during the 9-day Lunar New Year holiday, Forestry Bureau’s Nantou Forest District Office recommends National Aowanda Forest Recreation Area, where cherry blossoms are expected to reach their peak bloom during the upcoming long holiday.

The district office said that, during the LNY holiday, the Aowanda park will be decorated by cherry blossoms and colorful spring flowers and filled with vitality displayed by playful birds, squirrels, and butterflies basking in warm sunshine.

Visitors to the forest recreation area will take delight in hiking a trail, sitting on a meadow, breathing deep fresh air in front of a waterfall, or taking in the beautiful mountain scenery from the Aowanda Suspension Bridge, the agency said.

The park will be open during the LNY holiday, except the LNY Eve on Feb. 4, when it will be closed for a cleanup. On Feb. 3, no lodging services will be provided even though the park will remain open.    [FULL  STORY]

Passenger fined NT$200,000 for bringing sausages into Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/20
By: Wu Hsin-yun and William Yen

Photo courtesy of Taipei Customs

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) A Chinese passenger who arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TTIA) from Shanghai has been fined NT$200,000 (US$6,477) for attempting to bring sausages into the country, Taipei Customs officials said Sunday.

The Chinese national, surnamed Zheng, failed to declare the 0.529 kilograms of sausages through customs, the officials said.

To prevent African swine fever (ASF) from reaching Taiwan, the government on Dec. 18, 2018 increased the fines for bringing in pork products from countries with ASF outbreaks, with first offenders liable to a fine of NT$200,000 and repeat offenders fined NT$1 million.

Since then, 63 people had been fined NT$200,000 as of Jan. 19 for attempting to violate the ban, according to data from the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ).    [FULL  STORY]

HPA warns over alcohol, especially binge drinking

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 21, 2019
By: Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

There might be as many as 1 million adults who occasionally binge drink in Taiwan, the

A man pours a glass of beer at the New Taipei City Beer Festival at Fisherman’s Wharf in Tamsui District on Sept. 23 last year.
Warning: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage your health
Photo: Chen Hsin-yu, Taipei Times

Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said in a survey yesterday, adding that alcohol should be avoided generally.

People should not be misled by claims that drinking in moderation does no harm to the body or that drinking wine in moderation is good for the heart, it said.

While many people still believe that wine in moderation is beneficial for cardiovascular health, newer studies, including one published in The Lancet in August last year, suggested that alcohol use was the seventh-leading risk factor for deaths and disability-adjusted life-years in 2016, and that the overall risk of drinking alcohol outweighs any known benefits, the HPA said.

The WHO Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health published last year showed that more than 3 million people died as a result of harmful use of alcohol in 2016, the HPA said.   [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan indicts Bitcoin traders for violations of banking act

ICRT Radio News
Date: 2019-01-19

Seven people who were arrested on June 13 last year for allegedly operating a
fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme were officially charged with
violating multiple banking and business related laws.

Prosecutors said that although the Bitcoin investment scheme would have been
in violation of the law even if successful, the scheme in question was also a
fraud that promised investors large-yield returns of up to 355 percent after
a year of investment in the cryptocurrency.

However, prosecutors said that most investors did not see any returns after
February 2018 and returns stopped altogether after April 24 the same year.

According to the indictment filed by Taichung District Prosecutors Office,
among the seven charged, a 47-year-old man surnamed Lin, established an
office in Taichung’s West District to attract investors from Taiwan and

The indictment showed that Lin attracted investment from Fuzhou, Shanghai
and Wuxi cities, as well as Pingtan County in Fujian Province.

Since October 2016, the group has attracted about US$51 million in
investment, the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice (MJIB)
said in June last year, adding that more than 1,000 people in Taiwan have
been defrauded.    [SOURCE]

43 popular heart drugs found to contain carcinogens in Taiwan

The Food and Drug Administration recalled 53 drugs altogether for testing

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/19
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Image by Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over the past few months, several popular heart and high blood pressure drugs have been recalled after they were discovered to contain potential cancer-causing particles.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Food and Drug Administration inspected 142 active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and 53 imported prepared medicines. The administration found 43 contained animal carcinogens of the type N-Nitrosodimethylamine or N-Nitrosodiethylamine, although not all the drugs that were recalled have been tested yet, NOWnews reports.

Head of the administration’s pharmaceutical group Hung Kuo-teng (洪國登) said the products in question have been assessed in line with international standards, and five APIs in popular heart medications, namely Valsartan, Losartan, Irbesartan, Olmesartan and Candesartan contained harmful components and have been taken under further investigation.

The 11 pharmaceutical companies that sold products containing carcinogens were all subdivisions of six larger holdings, four of which were from China, two from India.

Taiwan invests US$150 million in Paraguay

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/19
By: Elaine Hou and Chung Yu-chen 

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) Taiwan plans to invest US$150 million over a period of five years to finance cooperation projects in Paraguay, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday.

According to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Taiwan signed with its last remaining South American diplomatic ally late last year, the cash will be used to develop Paraguay’s social assistance, education, housing and infrastructure.

Apart from a previously initiated public housing project, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the Paraguayan government has expressed the wish that Taiwan can help improve the livelihoods of the Paraguayan people.

A Taiwanese diplomat once stationed in Paraguay said that the public housing project has helped improve the quality of life in rural areas of Paraguay.    [FULL  STORY]

Public can trust local pork, council says

STOP DISINFORMATION: The Council of Agriculture said that on Tuesday it reported a Facebook post with false information on pork in Taiwan to the Taipei Police Department

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 20, 2019
By: Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

People can safely eat domestic pork, as African swine fever has not spread in Taiwan,

Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung, second right, participates at a news conference in Taipei yesterday to promote safe Taiwanese pork.  Photo: CNA

Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday, calling on people not to disseminate misinformation about the disease.

Demand for pork products usually rises ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, but false information about the disease has affected domestic pork sales, Chen told a news conference in Taipei.

A netizen named Gina Lin this month on Facebook wrote that the disease had been found in Taoyuan and warned people not to eat pork products, the council said.

Disinformation could undercut quarantine work and might trigger panic, the council said, adding that on Tuesday it reported the post to the Taipei Police Department.

Faced With Tough Words From China, Taiwan Rallies Around Its Leader

The New York Times
Date: Jan. 19, 2019
By Chris Horton

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, center, in Taipei this month. Public support for Ms. Tsai has increased after she delivered a rebuke of a speech by President Xi Jinping of China.CreditRitchie B. Tongo/EPA, via Shutterstock

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Just a few weeks ago, President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan was struggling politically. Her party had lost in key local elections, imperiling her run for a second term next year.

But then she got help from an unlikely source: the president of China.

In a speech this month to the people of Taiwan, a self-ruled democracy that Beijing considers Chinese territory, President Xi Jinping said the island “must be and will be” united with China and warned that independence efforts could be met by armed force.

Mr. Xi’s speech raised anxieties in Taiwan that Ms. Tsai was able to tap into by delivering a rebuke of Mr. Xi’s proposal, in a rare departure from her usual cautious ambiguity.

“Democratic values are the values and way of life that Taiwanese cherish,” she said, “and we call upon China to bravely move toward democracy.”    [FULL  STORY]