Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Letter on Car Theft:

Here is an interesting anecdote from a letter I was sent....

Car ransoms.
My good friend had his new Nissan stolen and was immediately phoned for a ransom. They knew all his details. He paid $40,000 into a bank account to get it back.
BUT ! It was stolen again a few months later and again they called him. He complained that he was paying too much as it was stolen not long ago. To his amazement the girl said that their computer didn't register the previous theft! She apologized, gave him a low ransom fee and promised it wouldn't be stolen again!! Can you believe that?
My bitch - the officials in the motor reg branch with all the details could be easily caught, and worse still, the banks don't give a rat's ass about account authenticity. Anyone can open a false account whereas it's so difficult back home.


Ryan said...

$40,000 american? or NT?

could they just claim insurance and let the theives keep the car?

thats one strange story. hopeit doesnt infect the east coast.


Anonymous said...

Clyde Said:

This one has been going on for a long time. When we call it organized crime in Taiwan, we mean organized! I'm now getting computerized kidnapping phone calls about my kids.

40K for a car that cost near a million NT. For many people it is worth it to just pay and get over the whole thing.

Ryan said...

I have never once heard of this. Where is this happening? It's certainly not happening in Hualien.

Michael Turton said...

It is happening in Hualien. You just aren't hearing about it. This stuff doesn't get reported to the police, you know.

Michael Turton said...

This one has been going on for a long time. When we call it organized crime in Taiwan, we mean organized! I'm now getting computerized kidnapping phone calls about my kids.

LOL. Our taxi driver was just telling my wife that he gets at least twenty of those calls a day. He said she was lucky that she didn't understand her cellphone and couldn't answer the messages. He didn't fall for the threats of his son being kidnapped at school, as his child is only 2....

Anonymous said...

Sorry. It was 40K NT.
Even the local council legislators had multiple car ransoms. Mr NIce guy Hu just wasted complete mayoral term ..locals threw out last lady mayor for 'hong bao' husband then get saddled with Guggenheim fantasia ..tits on a bull.. locals want action on real stuff like traffic, pollution and crime which saturates their hunkered lives.

Anonymous said...

This same car theft scenario happened to the family I was living with last summer. The ransom was $60,000, and after it was promptly paid, another phone call came through notifying the owner that they wouldn't be getting their car back...unless they wouldn't mind contributing another $20,000.

In the end, the thieves made off with $60,000 and a 2001 BMW. Tax free! Wheeew.

So, after some intense searching and research throughout the Hsinchu area, we came up with some solid conclusions:

First of all, the cops won't give two shits how, where, or when your vehicle was stolen. Why? Well, it turns out that a lot of the vehicle files (the registration, etc., which ultimately connects your car to your phone number) are sold from police stations to the goons for a few hundred kuai per page. This seemed to be a pretty well known fact.

Also, even though your car might very well be brought back upon ransom payment, there is a chance that it is immediately shipped to the mainland for resale. This seemed to depend on how high the demand was for the particular make and model. European cars probably don't have a good chance of staying on the island, from what I observed. (Funny story about a guy who got drunk, slept in the back seat of his Benz overnight 'cause he couldn't drive himself home, and woke up on a freakin' BARGE...crossing the strait! No joke. A fellow theft victim told us that one.)

As for the bank accounts, well, I think it's pretty common knowledge that just about anyone with a heartbeat and an arbitrary piece of paper can open one in Taiwan. Obviously, there's no way to trace any of that stuff.

Mark said...

Wow... thieves are setting up customer service centers for their victims. This is nuts. I wonder if they put them on hold?