Philippines deports convicted former council speaker

By Stacy Hsu and Tony Yao  /  Staff reporters

Thu, Feb 07, 2019 - Page 1

Former Tainan County council speaker Wu Chien-pao (吳健保), who fled to the Philippines in 2014 after being convicted of match fixing, was extradited to Taiwan yesterday.

Wu, 69, was escorted on board a China Airlines flight from Manila and arrived at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 1pm, putting an end to more than four years as a fugitive.

As Wu had been held in a cell where a US inmate is suspected to have tuberculosis, he would be subjected to a series of screenings after entering Taiwan, said Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), deputy commander of the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s 8th Investigation Brigade.

Formerly a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member, Wu was sentenced in August 2014 by the Taiwan High Court to five years and five months in prison for intimidation and fraud.

He was indicted on charges of fixing Chinese Professional Baseball League games by colluding with illegal gambling syndicates.

Wu was listed as a fugitive after he failed to report to the authorities to serve his prison term later that year.

After receiving an anonymous tip about Wu’s whereabouts last year, the Criminal Investigation Bureau teamed up with its Philippine counterpart and apprehended Wu at a villa in Subic Bay on Jan. 16.

Collaborations between law enforcement officers from Taipei and Manila have led to the arrests of several criminals since the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on combating transnational crimes in March 2017.

In July last year, former Ozamiz City councilor Ricardo Parojinog, who was wanted in the Philippines for drug trafficking, was arrested in a raid in Pingtung County.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had offered a reward of 5 million pesos (US$95,374) for the arrest of Parojinog, who was also allegedly involved in several other serious crimes.

Two months later, Philippine authorities helped capture Oren Shlomo Mayer, an Israeli American listed as a suspect in the murder and dismemberment of Canadian Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) in August last year.

Additional reporting by Chen En-hui