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Taiwan police officers demoted for having tea with suspected gangster

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Two Taichung City police officers were disciplined after they were found in the presence of a suspected gangster when he was shot, reports said Tuesday.
The revelation comes at a bad time for Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu, at the start of a re-election bid when Taiwan’s third largest town already has a reputation for a deteriorating law-and-order situation. The central government decided Monday to send 40 specially trained police officers to Taichung to ward off further gang attacks.
Four police officers were playing mahjong with suspected gangster Weng Chi-nan and hid behind a tea table when he was shot last Friday, said Huang Kuo-shu, a Taichung City Councilor from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
Taichung police chief Hu Mu-yuan told Huang that a retired police officer had invited two other officers to drink tea together at the offices of a biotechnology company. The two officers did not know that Weng would also show up, while the two other officers were their drivers, Hu said. He denied they played mahjong and said they were not carrying their guns because the incident happened outside their working hours.
Both senior officers received one demerit, while one was also demoted to a non-executive position and the other would retire as scheduled on Wednesday, Hu said. The two drivers only received a serious warning each because they were just following orders, he said.
Even though the company office did not have a dubious reputation, police officers should avoid contacts with questionable individuals, Hu said.
The presence of the four policemen at Weng’s killing came to light as investigators watched surveillance camera recordings of the scene, reports said.
Mayor Hu told the Taichung City Council that police officers should not have contacts with criminal underworld figures.
“Citizens are already feeling despair over the law-and-order situation in Taichung City,” Hu said.
Opposition councilors criticized the mayor for planning to travel to the United States for the graduation of his son later this month instead of staying in Taichung to head the fight against crime.
The incidents come at the start of the campaign for the November election for mayor of the newly merged and upgraded administrative entity formed by Taichung City and Taichung County.
Hu is facing a challenge from outgoing DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan.

Updated : 2022-01-28 08:34 GMT+08:00