Taiwan police chief vows to probe ethics after nightclub attack

CHINA - National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun said yesterday at the Legislative Yuan that the police will look into the issues that have arisen from the killing of a police detective. In particular issues dealing with retired police officers moonlighting as nightclub bodyguards.

During an interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan's Internal Administration Committee, legislators expressed their concern about police conduct and discipline, local media reported.

Police detective Hsueh Chen-kuo was fatally beaten by an estimated 50 alleged gangsters outside of a nightclub in the Xinyi district on Sept. 14.

In response to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai's questions concerning the number of nightclubs employing gangsters as bodyguards, Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Hu Mu-yuan's said that up to 70 per cent of nightclubs employ gangsters as bodyguards.

According to local media, Chen suspected that the low number of reports of crime at nightclubs is due to police officers' and criminal syndicates' involvement in these establishments' affairs.

Chen said that the Taipei City Police Department's report that stated police officers are not involved with such establishments would not even convince a three-year-old. Chen asked the National Police Agency to form a task force in order to reinvestigate the whole case again. He also asked Wang to investigate law enforcement's rank and file to see if they have colluded with gangsters.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of the Interior said that so far the investigation could not prove that detective Hsueh was involved in criminal affairs.

As of press time, police have issued arrest warrants for 47 suspects in the detective's killing, 39 have been arrested and eight more are still at large. A total of 43 suspects have been interrogated.

Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen said that the Taiwanese people have begun to question public security ever since the killing spree on the MRT, which has led to inquiries into police conduct. According to the Interior Minister, this accusation is a heavy blow to the majority of police officers who are well behaved. Therefore, he pressed the National Police Agency to cooperate with prosecutors in order to identify the bad seeds among law enforcement officers.

The slain detective's funeral was held yesterday at noon at the Second Funeral Parlor. Taipei City Police Department Head Huang Sheng-yung was present to pay his respects.