Police yesterday played down the role of two brothers linked to a minivan that was used to transport explosive devices found on Friday in a toilet on a Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) train and outside a lawmaker’s office in New Taipei City (新北市).
The police task force would not rule out the possibility of the perpetrators having fled the country, after the two brothers, surnamed Lai (賴), were questioned earlier in the day in Greater Taichung’s Dali District (大里) in connection the devices, police said.
The task force said the brothers, who owned the van at different times, apparently did not drive the vehicle on Friday. They also said the vehicle may have been bought in the brothers’ names without their knowledge.
Investigators said surveillance video footage showed that a silver Mitsubishi minivan registered to one of the Lais drove onto the No. 1 National Freeway from Greater Tainan on Friday morning and arrived at the Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Taichung Station at about 9am.
The same vehicle was seen outside Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Chia-chen’s (盧嘉辰) office in Tucheng District (土城), New Taipei City, shortly after noon. The vehicle left immediately after someone exited the minivan and left two suitcases, which were later found to contain explosives, outside the office.
Video footage released Lu’s office shows a middle-aged man wearing police rain gear and a hat lugging two blue suitcases before putting them under a fire extinguisher outside Lu’s office at 12:31pm.
Investigators found the vehicle in a parking lot in Taoyuan County.
Police had been notified at 9:10am on Friday that two unattended suitcases had been left on a high-speed train traveling from Greater Kaohsiung to Taipei.
KMT legislators Hsu Hsin-ying (徐欣瑩), Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏) and Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) were on board the train.
The police later confirmed that the suitcases on the train and outside Lu Chia-chen’s office contained gasoline, fertilizer and timers.
According to local reports, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) name was written on a note attached to the suitcases outside Lu Chia-chen’s office, leading police to suspect that the incident may have been politically motivated.
Additional reporting by Rich Chang