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The murder of Yin Ching-feng: a history

By Brian Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

June, 1991 Taiwan takes delivery of four German-made minesweepers, purchased as "multi-purpose coastal boats" for the state-run Chinese Petroleum Corporation.

Aug, 1991 Taiwan signs Lafayette frigate deal with France.

April, 1993 The Central Trust of Taiwan signs, on behalf of the navy, a deal with an Italian company for a survey ship.

May, 1993 Navy General Headquarters' weapons procurement office is inaugurated, with Captain Yin as its chief executive. Yin was scheduled for promotion to rear admiral at the beginning of the following year.

Sept, 1933 Captain Yin visits France in connection with the Lafayette frigate deal, accompanied by procurement office colleague Captain Kuo Li-heng (郭力恆).

Nov, 1993 Letter of accusation against Yin, Kuo and many other naval officers is sent to the Presidential Office. It accuses Yin of receiving NT$5 million in bribes from an arms broker mediating the navy's purchase of a survey ship from an Italian company.

Dec 8, 1993 Yin takes action to fight the allegations. He visits, at night, three key people involved in the minesweeper, frigate and survey ship deals and secretly records conversations with them. The three are a military official and two former naval officials who became arms brokers after retirement. Yin is accompanied by Kuo on two of the visits.

Dec 9, 1993 Yin goes missing at around 8:50am after going to meet somebody for breakfast near Navy General Headquarters in Taipei's suburban Tachih district.

Dec 10, 1993 Yin's body is found off Suao (蘇澳), eastern Taiwan, by a local fisherman. Tu Cheng Chun-chu (涂鄭春菊), an agent for a German arms company providing parts for the navy's German-made minesweepers, leaves the country. It was she whom Yin had gone to meet when he went missing. Tu, an ethnic Taiwanese holding German citizenship, came to Taiwan to persuade the navy to execute the second part of the two-part contract it had signed with her company.

Dec 11, 1993 The first of two cassette tapes recording conversations between Yin and the three key arms purchasers is recovered. It is later, suspiciously, demagnetized. Navy investigators, who obtained access to the tapes before anybody else, include Rear Admiral Liu Chin-an (劉錦安), currently director of the Ministry of National Defense's Judge Advocates Bureau, Rear Admiral Li Kun-tsai (李昆材), then director of Navy General Headquarters' weapons procurement office, and several others.

Dec 15, 1993 The murder is reported by the press despite a gagging order imposed by the military.

Dec 16, 1993 Yin's colleague, Kuo, is taken into custody for suspected links to the murder.

Dec 18, 1993 An autopsy by Taiwan's top coroner, Yang Jih-sung (楊日松), finds evidence that Yin might have been murdered.

Dec 20, 1993 Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), agent of the Lafayette manufacturer, Thomson CSF, in Taiwan, flees the country. He had allegedly offered a bribe of NT$9.5 million to Kuo Li-heng.

Jan 1, 1994 Lawmaker Chu Kao-cheng (朱高正) alleges at a press conference that director of the Presidential Office's secretariat, Su Chih-chen (蘇志誠), and his younger brother Su Chih-jen (蘇志仁) are behind the murder of Yin.

Jan 21, 1994 Shan Yi-chen (單亦誠), an arms broker who had tried to mediate Taiwan's purchase of minesweepers from Germany, flees the country amid suspicions of his involvement in the Yin murder. Shan was alleged to have bribed Kuo Li-heng with NT$2.5 million in an attempt to win a contract for parts provision for the German-made mine sweepers.

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