08 Jun '11, 9am

Taiwan makes bribe-paying illegal

TAIPEI: Taiwan has made bribe-paying illegal for the first time after a string of high-profile graft scandals, authorities said on Wednesday. A bill passed by parliament Tuesday makes individuals giving money, goods or favours -- such as sexual services -- to civil servants a crime, in contrast to regulations so far which have targeted officials who receive the pay-offs. Giving kickbacks will be punishable on conviction by a maximum three-year jail term and a fine of up to Tw$500,000 (US$17,200), said the justice ministry. "The new law will help eradicate the 'red envelope culture' that has existed for a long time and correct the wrong that receivers of money are guilty while the givers escape punishment," the justice ministry said in a statement. The phrase "red envelopes", which usually refers to cash gifts given on special occasions such as the Lunar New Year and weddin...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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