Sun, Nov 04, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Police identify suspected public lottery blackmailer

THE SECRET Fingerprints and a surveillance camera allowed police to identify the man who threatened to expose Taipei Fubon Bank's 'cheating' if it did not pay him a ransom

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei police arrested a man yesterday on suspicion of blackmailing a senior official at Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行) by claiming he had evidence the bank had cheated the public while it was running the Public Welfare Lottery.

Police said Richard Yang (楊瑞東), a vice president at Taipei Fubon Bank, received a package containing a letter on Oct. 30.

The author of the letter claimed he had evidence the bank had cheated while operating the lottery, as no winners had claimed the jackpot for five consecutive draws in October last year.

As a result, the grand prize had grown to NT$280 million (US$8.6 million).

The suspect said the balls used in the lottery were weighted differently so that the bank could control the winning numbers.

The suspect threatened to make the bank's "fraudulent behavior" public if Yang did not pay him a ransom of NT$160 million.

The package also contained two blank CDs and several photos of the lottery draw, as well as a map showing the location where Yang was expected to bring the money today.

Police said they discovered a fingerprint on the package and were able to identify the suspect with the help of a surveillance camera at a Taipei City convenience store where the suspect was believed to have posted the package.

Police arrested Tung Chih-hwa (董智華) yesterday afternoon at his residence in Taipei.

They said Tung had told police he knew the secret behind lottery operations.

Taipei Fubon won the nation's first license to run the Public Welfare Lottery from 2002 until last year. Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) won the license to run the lottery from January until the end of 2013.

In September, Taipei Fubon was also awarded the nation's first license to operate a sports lottery.

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