Taiwan Ministry of Justice Warns of Cryptocurrency Bribery in 2024 Election

As Taiwan gears up for its upcoming 2024 general election, the Ministry of Justice has issued a statement expressing concerns regarding the potential use of digital currencies, particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum, as tools for election bribery. The Ministry, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, is taking proactive measures to prevent these illicit practices and ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Justice, a staggering amount of over 1.254 billion yuan has been disbursed as rewards for reporting and combating bribery over the past 23 years, up until the end of May this year. It is estimated that nearly 50 million yuan was issued in bonuses for the previous nine-in-one election held last year, with ongoing reviews and disbursements still taking place.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice

Highlighting the severity of the issue, the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office reported that a total of 1,335 cases related to election bribery were prosecuted following the nine-in-one election last year. Among those prosecuted were prominent figures such as former KMT Central Standing Committee member Xiao Jingtian, Miaoli County Mayor Zhong Dongjin, Tainan City Council Speaker Qiu Lili, and Deputy Speaker Lin Zhizhan. In total, 980 cases involving 719 individuals were brought to trial, while the remaining cases were deferred.

Further emphasizing the extent of the problem, the Tainan 88 gun shooting incident during the previous election resulted in the prosecution of 49 cases involving 63 people, with an additional three cases and three individuals facing deferred prosecution. Moreover, charges were filed against 387 individuals involved in 294 cases related to false reporting and 378 individuals implicated in ghost population cases.

The Ministry of Justice has acknowledged that the methods of bribery have evolved rapidly over time and have become more sophisticated. Traditional cash transactions are no longer the sole means of buying influence, as emerging third-party payment systems, including Line Pay, Pi Wallet, Jiekou Payment, and Oufubao, have become conduits for illicit activities. Furthermore, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as game points, are now being exploited as election bribery tools.

In response to this evolving landscape, law enforcement agencies, including the police and prosecutors, are actively engaging in preventative measures to counter these new methods of bribery. Their concerted efforts aim to maintain the fairness and credibility of the 2024 general election.

To combat election-related corruption, the authorities have intensified their vigilance and are closely monitoring digital payment systems and virtual currencies. By staying ahead of potential illicit activities, law enforcement agencies are committed to safeguarding the democratic process and holding accountable those who attempt to subvert it.

As Taiwan prepares for the 2024 general election, the nation can be reassured that the Ministry of Justice and law enforcement agencies are actively working to preserve the sanctity of the democratic process. Their commitment to combatting bribery and corruption, particularly concerning the use of digital currencies, is vital to upholding Taiwan’s democratic values and ensuring fair and transparent elections.

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