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Thu, Nov 09, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Police in Shanghai arrest Taiwanese criminal gang head

STAFF WRITER

The head of the Taiwanese crime syndicate known as the "Four Seas Gang" (四海幫) was arrested in Shanghai last week.

Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) confirmed yesterday that Shanghai police arrested Yang Kuang-nan (楊光南) at a restaurant in the city on Nov. 1.

Eight other people were reportedly arrested along with Yang.

CIB officials said they are working with the Straits Exchange Foundation (海基會) to repatriate Yang to Taiwan in accordance with the Kinmen agreement on the repatriation of criminals.

This is the second time Yang has been arrested in China. He was first arrested for a brawl at a Shanghai bar in March last year. Yang was released and deported to Macau after almost two months in jail.

At the time, Yang narrowly escaped Taiwan police who were sent to pick him up at Macau's airport.

China has since blacklisted Yang.

Local media reported yesterday that Yang had fled to Hainan Island, Singapore and the US before finally returning to China to consolidate his power base there.

The Four Seas Gang has been running gambling dens and nightclubs in Shanghai in cooperation with local gangs, local media reports said.

Shanghai police were prompted to take action after the Four Seas Gang decided to move its headquarters to Shanghai, according to police sources.

Cooperation between crime syndicates in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau has been on the rise following the handover of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese rule.

Taiwan's CIB officials said they are optimistic about Yang's repatriation to Taiwan, but also expressed concern that the Four Seas Gang may mobilize its political connections on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to arrange Yang's escape.

Taiwan police suspect Yang has been involved in numerous criminal cases here, ranging from bid-rigging to murder.

Yang was convicted in a murder case in the mid-1980s and was released after serving time in jail.

One report said that Yang had tried to dissolve his gang four years ago, wanting to shed his criminal background and start businesses in Shanghai, but did not follow through with his plan.

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