The Taoyuan District Court yesterday detained three alleged gangsters on suspicion of the murder Chen Wen-husan (陳文軒), whose corpse was found sealed in a barrel of concrete on Saturday.
According to reports from the Chinese-language Apple Daily, the barrel containing Chen’s body was retrieved from a pond in Taoyuan County’s Guanyin Township (觀音) on Saturday, a day after investigators brought in 15 men from Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Kaohsiung for questioning.
Among those brought in for questioning were Chen Yu-shu (陳祐豎), Wen Ching-cheng (溫錦程) and Chen Shih-wei (陳世偉).
Investigators said that the body of Chen Wen-husan, 27, was found upside-down in a concrete barrel, with his eyes, nose and mouth covered with duct tape and his hands and feet handcuffed.
Investigators said that the trio had allegedly barged into Chen Wen-husan’s residence in Taoyuan’s Bade City (八德) on March 22 disguised as police officers and abducted him.
However, the Apple Daily reported that the three men were accompanied by a fourth person while allegedly committing the kidnapping, adding that they showed a fake search warrant before rummaging through Chen Wen-husan’s home to find what they said were “pieces of evidence for his alleged involvement in a drug case.”
Preliminary investigations showed that the killing could have been triggered by a dispute between Chen Yu-shu and the victim over drug sales, after the former allegedly accused the latter of pocketing approximately NT$25 million (US$781,000) of money they had put together to purchase narcotics.
The Apple Daily quoted police as saying that earlier this year, Chen Yu-shu allegedly gave about NT$50 million to Chen Wen-husan, a reputed gangster and drug dealer.
However, as a Chinese drug ring allegedly delivered only half of the amount of promised drugs to Chen Wen-husan after the apprehension of its upstream supplier by Chinese police, Chen Yu-shu suspected that the victim was plotting against him and requested an immediate refund of the remaining money, the reports quoted police as saying.
The reports claimed that Chen Yu-shu, indignant over the delay in repayments, approached Wen Ching-cheng, a suspect in the abduction case of stock commentator Chang Shih-chieh (張世傑) in February this year and asked him to hire a gunman to murder Chen Wen-husan.
However, the assassination attempt was unsuccessful and could have prompted Chen Yu-shu to commit the abduction, the reports said.
It is believed that Chen Yu-shu later brought Chen Wen-husan to a vacated building in New Taipei City’s Sansia District (三峽) to try to settle the dispute, but murdered him and encased his body in cement after negotiations went sour, investigators said.
The suspects had promised Chen Wen-husan’s safe return after the kidnapping as long as a NT$10 million ransom was paid, but his family managed to pay only half of that amount, the reports said.