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Taiwan prosecutors struggle with surge in fraud cases

Fraud in New Taipei up 60%, prosecutors ask for additional manpower

A Ministry of Justice anti-fraud campaign image. (MOJ photo)

A Ministry of Justice anti-fraud campaign image. (MOJ photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s district prosecutors offices have seen a significant surge in fraud cases this year, CNA reported.

Jianqing, a grassroots prosecutor reform group, said the number of fraud cases and new cases across district offices has skyrocketed. They said prosecutors were finding it difficult to keep up, especially with the 2024 combined presidential and legislative elections approaching.

The group said that the New Taipei District Prosecutors' Office received over 100,000 new investigation cases from September last year to August, totaling 106,044 cases. This is a 28.6% increase compared to the same period the previous year, with fraud cases increasing by 60%.

The group called for additional manpower, and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said they are working to hire more staff. The MOJ also said they would coordinate with the High Prosecutors Office and temporarily suspend case management deadlines during the election inspection period.

Jianqing reported that the Taipei, Taichung, and New Taipei district prosecutors offices had all seen significant increases in new cases and fraud cases compared to last year. They said many prosecutors were receiving over 100 new cases per month and had additional duties related to year-end bribery investigations.

The MOJ said they were lobbying the Cabinet to secure more personnel for the prosecutors’ offices. They proposed a "Mid-Term Human Resource Supplement Plan for Adapting to Judicial Reform" to diversify and strengthen the manpower of the prosecutors’ office.

The MOJ said that various agencies, including the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, the National Police Agency, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the National Communications Commission, the Digital Ministry, and the Financial Supervisory Commission, all pitched in to deal with the fraud surge. They said the High Prosecutors Office urged the National Police Agency to implement the money laundering prevention law's cautionary procedures to reduce case numbers.

The MOJ said that from Nov. 1 until Feb. 15 next year, deadlines for prosecutors handling cases would be temporarily suspended. They said they had begun recruitment for 100 prosecutor assistants and planned to hold a "Prosecutor Assistant Legalization Discussion Conference" to increase support staff for prosecutors.