Taiwan rounds up more than 300 suspected gangsters

Police conduct anti-gang campaigns in the run-up to the November local elections

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Police crack down on gangs ahead of the November elections.

Police crack down on gangs ahead of the November elections. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - In the run-up to local elections in November, police rounded up 387 suspected gangsters, including five with links to the small pro-China Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP, 統促黨), reports said Saturday.

The CUPP is led by a prominent former gang leader, Chang An-le (張安樂), nicknamed the “White Wolf,” and members have been making headlines occasionally with their involvement in clashes with political opponents.

Police and prosecutors started their second five-day anti-gang campaign last Tuesday with the aim of preventing the involvement of organized crime in the run-up to the November 24 regional and local elections, the Liberty Times reported.

By Friday evening, the campaign had netted 54 leading gang members and 333 of their henchmen, with five of the former having CUPP ties, according to the paper.

The police action also netted four handguns, 18 locally modified firearms, 357 rounds of ammunition, and NT$2.19 million (US$71,800) in illegal proceeds.