17 Taiwanese shoplifters at Tokyo Disney arrested in past two years

7 Taiwanese have been arrested for shoplifting in Tokyo Disneyland's gift stores.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

TAIPEI - During the past two years, 17 Taiwanese have been arrested for shoplifting in Tokyo Disneyland's gift stores. In response, Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials have called on people not to damage Taiwan's image abroad due to impulse.

Tokyo Disneyland Resort has become a popular tourist attraction that many choose to visit while traveling to Japan.

News about nine shoplifting arrest involving Taiwanese tourists at Disneyland gift shops initially were reported on last year. While the Tourism Bureau stated that half of the shoplifting was "by accident," authorities' records show that thefts are still happening.

According to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan, from May 2013 to June this year, 17 Taiwanese had been caught red-handed while shoplifting.

The office said that most of those caught were young women between the ages of 20 and 40, while the first man was arrested this year.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs stated that one female tourist who purchased merchandise worth more than 300,000 Japanese yen (S$3,486) in the gift store, but still stole an accessory worth 10,000 yen.

"Why be greedy about such a small amount of money when you have already spent 300,000 yen?" asked officials regarding the incident. They also stated that although there are no theft-proof gates at the gift stores, customers are still under the watch of clerks and security.

People who are found leaving without paying, will "immediately be tailed," stopped and reported to the police, they said.

The representative office in Japan stated that such thefts are criminal cases. If Taiwan citizens are arrested in Japan, even if they call the office's emergency assistance line, authorities can only visit the person and assist their family in coming to Japan to deal with the situation.