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2024/02/07:The Exploration of Organized Fraud and Human Trafficking

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  • Last updated:2024-02-07
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In response to the Executive Yuan's launch of the “Next-generation anti-fraud strategy guidelines 1.5" on May 4th, 2023, the Crime Prevention Research Center conducted a research to explore organized fraud and human trafficking in 2023. This exploratory research aims to understand the background attributes, network pathways, role responsibilities, criminal scripts, types, and profit models of organized crime groups that engage in fraud and human trafficking (OCEFHT). It also seeks to explore the organizational relationships of OCEFHT and local governments, delineate their criminal pathways and steps, and examine the challenges and solutions faced by governments in preventing and controlling such crimes from an international perspective. Through semi-structured interviews and analysis of court verdicts, this study aims to assist governments in formulating effective strategies against OCEFHT, reinforcing the strategy objectives of the “Next-generation anti-fraud strategy guidelines 1.5": identification, blocking, prevention, and punishment of fraud.

Interviews with nine practical experts in criminal justice system revealed that OCEFHT could be categorized into four types based on gang attributes and organizational cohesion: gang-organized, human smuggling groups, individual operators, and individual gang members. Furthermore, based on the tightness of the organizational crime process, their behavioral patterns can be divided into "chain-like coordination"," "non-chain-like coordination" and "intermediate" types. The study also delves into domestic OCEFHT's networks, causes, roles, responsibilities, criminal scripts, profit models, and prevention challenges. For OCEFHT overseas, the reasons for its establishment, its involvement in human trafficking, the steps and rewards/punishments to victims, the methods of exploitation, and the dilemmas and rescue of victims are examined. Analysis of legal judgments revealed that the crime of trafficking in persons under Article 296-1 of the Criminal Code and the crime of forced labor exploitation under Article 32 of the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (old version) are not mutually exclusive. When a defendant is convicted of human trafficking, careful consideration must be given to whether there is sufficient evidence to prove that the individual is a conspiracy joint principal offender in the exploitation of forced labor in order to fully evaluate culpability. The legislator should re-examine the severity of penalties for human trafficking within the framework of the Criminal Code and the Human Trafficking Prevention Act. In addition, the study encourages further research on empathy in OCEFHT offenders, noting that their empathic characteristics may not differ from those of normal people, but their empathic state during offending may be suppressed by various factors. Furthermore, future research should confirm that different behaviors correspond to different socio-ychological factors that influence offenders. Based on the results of the studies, the following recommendations were made:

1. The central government should establish an integrated investigation system mechanism for the overall management of evidence.
2. It proposes sharing the crime investigation information system to relevant units on a project-by-project basis and improving the mechanism for exchanging investigative information at local level for a limited period of time.
3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs or its local offices, as key locations for investigating cases, should improve identification and early warning mechanisms for high-risk behavior when processing passport matters.
4. In the context of political and diplomatic dilemmas, it recommends improving flexible solutions for action against OCEFHT.
5. Introduce standard procedures for the rescue of victims of human trafficking.
6. Sign legal aid and work with NGOs and foreign media to overcome international rescue dilemmas.
7. Improve the government's overseas emergency relief fund, emergency shelter measures and victim identification standards.
8. Further research should differentiate the characteristics of criminal behavior of offenders and the legal interests they violate to promote effective rehabilitation through empathy research.

Keywords: Fraud crime, organized crime, human trafficking, fraud prevention, Next-generation anti-fraud strategy guidelines

For the full paper, please visit here (only in traditional Chinese version).

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