Passport forgery ring in Kaohsiung

SUMMARY: In a significant crackdown in Kaohsiung, Taiwanese authorities have dismantled a sophisticated operation where eight individuals were caught producing and selling counterfeit Taiwan passports to clients in China. Initiated after a Chinese national was apprehended with a fake passport, the investigation revealed an elaborate scheme advertising these passports online, aimed at circumventing travel restrictions. The sting operation led to the seizure of numerous devices used in the forgery process. This major bust highlights the high value placed on Taiwanese passports, which grant access to 143 countries, and underscores the government’s commitment to combating identity fraud.

The passports are for Mainland Chinese who wish to travel abroad, but not necessarily to Taiwan. The people nabbed were trying to enter Taiwan to prove how effective the forgeries were.

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The Chinese saying “painting a snake and adding legs” comes to mind.

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GPT Summary

The Chengyu “Adding feet to a snake” (画蛇添足, Huà shé tiān zú) originates from an ancient Chinese story that emphasizes the folly of unnecessary gilding or overdoing something that is already complete, leading to negative consequences rather than improvements. This idiom is used to advise against superfluous actions that spoil the original intent or outcome.

The story is set during the Warring States period (475-221 BC) in the state of Chu. During a banquet, a group of guests were enjoying their time together, and someone suggested a contest to see who could finish drawing a snake the fastest. The prize for winning was a jug of wine. All participants hastily began drawing snakes, but one man finished first with time to spare. Confident in his quick victory and seeing that he had additional time before others could complete their drawings, he decided to add feet to his snake to make his drawing stand out.

However, before he could finish adding feet to his snake, another participant completed a simple drawing of a snake and claimed the wine. The man who added feet to his snake was mocked by the others, who told him that by adding unnecessary details, he had missed the point of the contest and thus lost the prize. The moral of the story is that sometimes, in trying to improve something, adding unnecessary features or embellishments can lead to failure or ridicule. It serves as a reminder to focus on the essence of things and not overcomplicate or overdo tasks.

This Chengyu is often cited in both personal and professional contexts to caution against over-elaboration or complicating matters that are already satisfactory.

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That strikes me as a pretty stupid thing to do. I’ve always wondered exactly how much co-operation there is between countries regarding passport authenticity/verification. I’m guessing some countries are more lackadaisical than others.

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