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Mainland Affairs Council

Cross-Strait Exchanges Archives

Cross-Strait Crimes

URGENT NEED FOR Joint Campaign Against Crimes ACross the Taiwan Straits

March 1999

BACKGROUND ON CROSS-STRAIT CRIME

A.Drug Trafficking

Law enforcement information indicates that the total volume of drugs smuggled from Mainland to Taiwan amounts to 3300 kilograms, while narcotic drugs totals to 25 metric ton during 1990-1998. The smuggled heroin and amphetamine in the year of 1998 is about 70 kilos and 600 kilos respectively, each of which accounts for more than 50 percent and nearly 70 percent of the total seizures of that year. The figures manifest how serious problems are.

Heroin is smuggled mainly through transportation containers, while amphetamine by Mainland fishing vessels (Table 1).

B. Statement on Allegations that Taiwan is a Drug Transport Hub

Due to the fact that Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, Taiwan is not eligible for the status as a signatory to the UN Convention on anti-drug campaign of 1988. Nevertheless, Taiwan has achieved remarkable progress in its efforts to promulgate and execute relevant anti-drug laws and to cooperate with the international society. In fact, not only has Taiwan’s efforts met the standards set forth in the above-mentioned Convention, but it has also been deleted from the list of the major drug transfer hubs by he United Nations in 1996. This offers a strong rebuttal to the U.S. allegation that Taiwan is a drug transport hub under its Strategic Report for International Drug Control.

Table 1 Seized Drugs in ROC
source:Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice, ROC
unit:kilogram

Item Year Heroin Amphetamine
Total seized volume Volume seized
from Mainland
Percentage Total seized volume Volume seized
from Mainland
Percentage
1996 150.37 52.27 34.76% 1906.17 1281.01 67.20%
1997 187.72 26.30 14.01% 2540.25 1843.45 72.57
1998 133.36 69.29 51.96% 886.63 595.44 67.16
Total 471.45 147.86 31.36 5333.05 3719.90 69.75

C. Gun-running

Statistics provided by the Criminal Police Office show that local law enforcement officers have confiscated more than 2,400 mainland-made system-mode guns during 1988 to 1998, accounting for 20% of all seized system-mode guns of that same period. The above figure does not include those made by countries other than the PRC and sold to Taiwan through the Mainland, and those series number and country of origins are not identifiable.

Though seizures of smuggled guns have slightly dropped in recent years, the ROC government has maintained tight control over gun smuggling, for such activities constitute serious threats to the public security (Table 2).

Table 2 Seized Firearms in ROC
source:Criminal Police Office
unit:piece

Category Year System Mode Firearms Indigenous Mode Firearms Others Total
Total Mainland Mode Firearms
1988 431 57 590 1398 2419
1989 1450 687 680 7722 9852
1990 1972 701 760 513 3245
1991 794 280 304 374 1472
1992 1004 145 1066 4307 6377
1993 1028 115 653 1375 3056
1994 1286 126 287 1288 2861
1995 1147 95 165 1153 2465
1996 1397 123 297 1830 3524
1997 1359 60 293 2533 4205
1998 732 20 447 2035 3214
Total 12600 2409 5542 24548 42690

D. Other Mainland Contrabands

According to statistics provided by the Directorate General of Customs, Ministry of Finance, the total value of the seizures from the Mainland is worth 25billion NT dollars. Though the figure in the year of 1998 has declined a bit, the total value of that year is still as high as 2.37 billion NT dollars, and the impact of smuggling itself with respect to market order, public security and tax revenues of a country is significant (Table 3).

Table 3
Smuggled Mainland Products Seized by ROC Directorate General of Customs 1991-1998

Time Category 1991
(Jul-Dec)
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Ratio changes
 compared with
the same
period of the
 previous year
Cigarette or cigar 6,088,049

 

988,079 11,998,593 16,151 1,170,045 82,297 3,706,359 2,603,995 -29%
Alcoholic drinks 975,810 188,271 3,532,221 33,669,379 64,140,003 49,411,055 41,991,332 3,680,899 -91%
Agricultural products 3,646,219 74,234,106 46,426,358 52,688,023 65,338,865 61,412,584 38,914,844 49,863,755 28%
Electric or electron appliances 635,396 19,757,602 84,932,880 26,293,379 22,657,879 17,428,845 12,685,559 15,251,291 20%
Aquatic products 3,514,796 7,101,658 8,671,861 15,632,426 18,368,652 11,310,914 24,025,787 12,416,103 -48%
Conserved animal and its products 160,200 41,261 59,588 12,848 210,016 11,377 82,086 452,456 451.20%
Non-conserved animal and its products 1,543,702 24,843,844 964,663 13,774,593 13,998,069 21,850,308 3,762,205 27,503,702 631.05%
Drugs and narcotic products 413,500 1,150,000 2,440,042 4,618,272 32,186,935 47,553,714 28,875,689 14,469,393 -49.89%
Chemical products 7,295,730 8,726,388 18,341,298 10,113,195 15,026,158 15,026,158 18,706 13,617,659 72698.35%
Transportation means 244,135 1,571,201 321,180 489,934 0 13,171,514 1,928 502,017 25938.23%
Weaponry and ammunition 5,109 38,263 1,000 556,072 188,190 730,192 6,030 0 -100.00%
Golden and silver currencies 0 0 2,577,719 2,577,719 800 0 600 0 -100.00%
Used vessels and vehicles’ parts 0 9,612,183 1,170,415 668,491 24,200 2,229,099 103,808 583,185 461.79%
Cosmetic products 1,255 465,076 213,542 678,813 609,851 554,899 302,425 500,024 65.34%
Jewelry and antique containers 366,278 3,973,510 18,751,720 23,429,144 6,056,139 5,495,712 1,954,480 601,174 -69.24%
Optic instruments 0 0 2,339,562 2,425,217 2,452,217 216,023 69,247 1,957,762 2727.22%
Medicinal materials 666,432 1,621,726 2,189,416 992,279 2,170,953 1,743,072 8,750,338 1,697,439 -80.60%
Others 24,631,910 161,652,184 251,526,146 168,916,566 187,966,805 121,866,940 244,961,999 91,795,487 -62.53%
Total 50,215,521 315,965,352 456,458,204 357,552,501 432,538,777 370,094,703 410,213,422 237,496,341 -42.10%

E. Trespassing by Mainland Fishing Boats

Mainland fishing boats have been prevented 53,000 times from attempts to trespass Taiwan waters over the past three years, including 15,000 times in 1998 (Table 5). There were 28 events of disputes with Taiwan fishing boats due to entangled nets, harassment, robbery, and collisions entailed by these trespassing ships (Table 4). Such trespassing affected Taiwan fishermen's livelihood, and more than often, these mainland fishing boats have engaged in electric fishing, poisoning, dynamite fishing, smuggling, and transporting stowaways. These acts have caused a serious depletion of fishing resources and have also affected the security of the Republic of China.

Table 4 Fishing Disputes of Fishing Vessels at Sea in the Year of 1998

Category Case Amount
Cases on Taiwanese vessels encountering checking and disturbance by Mainland vessels on public functions 7
Cases on pure fishing disputes between the two sides of the strait 10
Cases on criminal crimes derived from fishing disputes between the two sides of the strait 5
Cases on Taiwanese vessels encountering robbery by the Mainland vessels 2
Cases on vessel crashes on the sea between the two sides of the strait 4
Total 28

Table 5 Enforcement against Trespassing Fishing Boats of the Past Three Years

Name of
Agencies
Number of
Ships Expelled
Smuggling Cases
Uncovered
Illegal Fishing by
Using Dynamite,
 Poison
Smuggling Cases Number of
Assistance for
Arranging Arrested
 Fishing Boats
Cases Related
to Destroying
Seized
 Fishing Tools
MOND 42,792 25 persons 756 persons 92 persons    
Coast Police 10,643 12 ships
172 person
5 ships
21 persons
6 ships
33 persons
   
DGC 330 0 109 ships      
COA         75 cases 75 cases

Ministry of National Defense (MOND), Coast Police under the Ministry of the Interior,

Directorate General of Customs under Ministry of Finance (DGC), Fishery Administration under the Council of Agriculture (COA).

ROC GOVERNMENT’S POSITION

A. To Provide Assistance on Individual Cases of Civil Distress in Cross-strait Interactions

One of the four items of consensus reached during the October 1998 Koo-Wang meeting was to provide more assistance on individual cases of cross-strait civil distress. It has been our government’s consistent policy that all issues arising from cross-strait exchanges which are of great concern and close bearing on people's interests shall be dealt with first. In criminal cases involving the two sides, mutual assistance has been rendered in information exchange, criminal record verification, investigation cooperation, repatriation, and exchange of judicial paper only with a limited effect. In 1998, the Koo-Wang meeting reached several consensuses on active cooperation on cases related to exchanges and early resumption of institutionalized talks. A cooperative campaign against crime is one of the major issues. However, a further action in joint crime control requires a more open attitude and active support from the mainland side in order to prevent people's interests from being damaged by criminal acts.

B. To Reach Agreements on Institutionalized Solutions

The SEF-ARATS joint agreement, signed into effect in 1993, already identified issues related to joint combat of maritime crime and robbery and mutual assistance on judicial branches of the two sides. It is hoped that through consultations on these issues that the formal channel for joint crime control can be established.

However, the mainland side has dragged on the institutionalized talks since 1995, forestalling any arrangement on this issue. Given the nature of criminal investigations, its efficacy, timeliness, and efficiency relies on a formal agreement in order to reach for a total solution. The government has prepared a draft to be presented in talks in future cross-strait exchanges to swiftly reach an agreement with the mainland side. It is undesirable to use political differences to drag down the protection for the interests of the peoples on the two sides. The government urges once again that the two sides shelve for the time being ideological conflicts and enter into pragmatic negotiations on crime control. Only by doing so can the well-being of the people of the two sides be protected, win-win relations achieved, and the security of the Asia Pacific region actually be secured.