TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After police raided an illegal gambling den hidden above a car wash on Wednesday (July 22), officers discovered that many gamblers were shamelessly placing bets with economic stimulus coupons.
Police said a 57-year-old man surnamed Chou (周) had been allegedly running illegal gambling dens in New Taipei City's Sanchong and Luzhou Districts for a long period of time. On Wednesday police received a tip that Chou had moved his illegal casino just above a car wash on Renmei Street in Sanchong District, reported SET News.
After receiving the tip late that evening, the police immediately mobilized two captains and 36 officers to raid the building. When police arrived on the scene, they found a number of people gambling inside and arrested Chou on the spot, along with 24 gamblers.
Police also arrested a 58-year-old man surnamed Mao (毛), who was the alleged bookmaker, and a man surnamed Shen (沈), who was the purported lookout for the operation. When officers inspected the money used for placing bets, they were shocked to see a large number of stimulus vouchers, which were originally meant to stimulate the economy amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to police, NT$28,000 (US$950) worth of stimulus coupons were seized, as well as NT$630,000 in cash bets, and the casino's take amounted to NT$100,000. After police questioned Chou and his two accomplices, they were transferred to the District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated for the crime of gambling (賭博罪), while the 24 gamblers are being investigated for violating the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法).
Stimulus coupons found at the scene. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)
Alleged gamblers arrested at the scene. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)
Cash, dice, and mahjong tiles seized at the scene. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)