Taiwanese man detained for refusing to pay fines after breaking home quarantine

Taiwan resident to spend up to three months in custody after transferring property to avoid paying fines

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Li (second from left) detained for refusing to pay quarantine violation fines. 

Li (second from left) detained for refusing to pay quarantine violation fines.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese man in the northern city of Taoyuan has become the first person in the country to be detained for refusing to pay fines after he violated the 14-day home quarantine rule in February.

According to a press release issued by the Taoyuan Branch of the Administrative Enforcement Agency on Wednesday (July 29), the 22-year-old man, surnamed Li (李), was fined NT$1 million (US$34,000) after he left his quarantine location four times during the 14-day isolation period. He had returned to Taiwan from the Chinese city of Xiamen on Feb. 29.

The prosecutors said Li had refused to pay fines since he received the official notice on Mar 12 and had ignored contact attempts made by the police. After having been given permission to confiscate Li's work salaries and freeze his main accounts, prosecutors were only able to collect NT$2,737 (US$93) since he had transferred all his properties elsewhere.

The prosecutors pointed out that Li even called the Taoyuan City court clerk to brag about his property transfer and insisted that he would not pay the fine. They said he also spat at the police officers during a negotiation meeting, reported Yahoo News.

On Wednesday morning, Li was detained by the authorities right before he was leaving his house with a few friends. The prosecutors said he would be placed in custody for a maximum of three months and the NT$1 million that he owes will be deducted from his future earnings, reported CNA.