2NT Government Prosecution

Imagine being arrested for theft over something that costs NTD $2…  For those used to the U.S. Dollar currency, it takes roughly 33 NTD to equal to the amount of 1 USD.

Now, imagine being arrested for theft on government grounds.

Which would you, personally feel more wronged over?  Surely, the first one, yes?  Besides, who would steal from government property?  What if I were to say, this theft was of two potted plants on public land – and the person arrested, over 2 NTD, had been held under interrogation for seven hours.

Roadside flowers along a countryside road in Feng-Yuan.

Roadside flowers along a countryside road in Feng-Yuan.

“This is the biggest insult I’ve ever had,” complained Kao Li-Chi, 56, was cited as saying by the Apple Daily (Taiwan’s tabloid, in traditional chinese).

Kao was reported to have been driving down in Feng-Yuan of Taichung Countly, Wednesday afternoon (February 4).  The incident was described as the prosecuted adoring a plot of flowers on the roadside.

Having believed them to be wild flowers, or weeds, she returned at 2 p.m. with a small spade, assisted in retrieving the plants, and wished to admire from her yard, according to the report.

Imagine after this act, seeing normal civilians coming up to you for arrest, realizing that they are really civilian-dressed officers.  In display of their IDs, the officers told her she was under arrest for stealing public property, as the flowers had been planted by the Feng- Yuan government.

Fenghsing Rd. police station in Feng-Yuan.

Fenghsing Rd. police station in Feng-Yuan.

Anyone would be furious and confused in this situation – and one would undoubtedly ask, why didn’t they just allow her to return the plants?  First, lets continue with the arrest.  During the long interrogation, the officers brought in an employee of the Feng-Yuan team of street cleaners who planted the flowers (funny, related news posted in March 2008, Taichung’s seeking to employ dog dropping collectors).

Both sides settled for a compensation of NT$2, however was no the end to the ordeal; instead, she was then brought to the district prosecutors office for  further interrogation.

Upon release at 9:30pm that evening, the prosecutors were still questioning whether to prosecute against Kao over the incident.

Feng-Yuan Mayor, Chang Ching-Feng (張靜分), upon receiving word of the incident had to say that “the flowers would be all gone if everyone took two.”

The mayor recalled how city hall had lost property worth several million NT to theft.

The flowers from the site is presently much less, in comparison, than it had been before.  Apparently, many others had stolen them, Chang said, in gratitude to the police for their civil duty.

A prosecutor comments on the government theft, that the allegedly committed carries a prison term ranging from six months to five years.

Lets return to why the police would not allow her to return the roadside plants.

1.) During the interrogation, both sides agreed on the monetary compensation (of 2NT), so there was no need to return the flowers.

2.) There was no reason or given explanation in the report, however one may call the government office with your questions and concerns in this case.  I could not find any government information on Feng-Yuan, but I was able to get government contact information for Taichung (where it is located).

Taichung City Police Bureau have several locations, please click through this link.  

Other information: Feng-Yuan, located in Taichung city of Taiwan, is recognized for its lacquer art which dates back to Japanese occupation.  Taiwan was seen as an ideal, by the Japanese, due to its rich resources, tropical climate and high humidity.  The Japanese introduced lacquer trees from Vietnam in 1921, and began producing lacquer products and lacquer raw materials.

In the 1970’s, however, as Japan’s post-war revival and economic recovery brought rising labor costs, the Japanese began to turn to Taiwan once more as a source of lacquer ware (in comparison the pause from the slump of 1945).  The following decades since, the Feng-Yuan and the Hsinchu area, were since recognized as the production center for Taiwan lacquer craft products and sandalwood furniture.

Feng-Yuan is as well recognized, internationally, for its calabash rice (aka: Xiangu Rice,” or Penglai Rice).  With two harvests a year, the production volume averages to an astonishing 33 million metric tons.  Admired for the whitness of its grain, flavour, sweetness and texture, as once even presented to the emperor of Japan (at the time was called simply as Formosa Rice).  Both Emperor Meiji and Emperor TaishōHirohito were noted as great lovers of the rice.  It is one of the most representative products Taiwan has to offer.

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~ by Lan on 2008 SatUTC2009-02-07T14:08:48+00:00. 15.

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