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Fri, Feb 23, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Woman kidnapped in China while on the run from police

CNA , TAIPEI

A garment wholesaler from Taipei on the run from Taiwan authorities has reportedly been kidnapped in Xiamen, China, sources from the Peitou police station said yesterday.

According to the police, the 45-year-old businesswoman, surnamed Chu (), went missing in the Fujian city earlier this year.

Her husband, surnamed Chen (陳), went to Xiamen and reported Chu missing to local public security authorities in early February.

Chen returned to Taiwan Feb. 12 and reported Chu missing to the Peitou police station, which in turn asked for help from the Chinese public security authorities via the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

In a reply to the CIB, the Xiamen police said Chu was not kidnapped but abducted for "financial reasons." The Xiamen police said Chu is now physically safe, but they didn't disclose her whereabouts and didn't offer to extend any help in resolving the case, according to the Peitou police.

Chu fled the country after she was charged with fraud and was listed as wanted by Taiwan police after 1998. She reportedly entered Hong Kong, and then Singapore, before going to Xiamen sometime around 1999.

Chu's husband and the Peitou police said they believe that she was abducted by members of China's underworld who were apparently hired by several Taiwan creditors to whom Chu owed some NT$9 million.

The CIB recently contacted Xiamen public security authorities through the cross-strait intermediary bodies to ensure Chu's personal safety, according to Peitou police.

Meanwhile, Peitou police have been investigating the owners of several pawn shops in Sanchung, Taipei County, trying to learn more about Chu's financial row with the owners, her creditors.

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