Tue, Jul 16, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Core Pacific City Mall arsonist gets four years in prison

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Court yesterday sentenced Lin Chang-cheng (林長成), a former manager at Core Pacific City Mall, to four years in prison for masterminding an arson attack at the mall which caused over NT$2 million worth of damage and cost over NT$10 million in lost business.

Twenty thousand people were evacuated from the shopping venue when the fire broke out on Feb. 18 this year.

Another two suspects, Wang Lin-kwun (王林坤) and Lin Ching-chi (林清吉) were both sentenced to three years and eight months behind bars.

Wang is a close friend of Lin Chang-cheng's and owned a shop selling Chinese teapots on the mall's seventh floor. Lin Ching-chi is Wang's uncle.

According to the verdict, Lin Chang-cheng was upset with Core Pacific Group Chairman Shen Ching-ching's (沈慶京) after Shen extended the mall's business hours in January, increasing Lin Chang-cheng's work load.

The verdict also says that Lin Chang-cheng then lured Wang to take part in the arson by offering him NT$100,000, and that they initially planned to destroy the mall's power system by means of a fire during business hours.

The court's findings say Wang invited his uncle Lin Ching-chi to start the fire.

According to the court, Lin Ching-chi filled empty mineral-water bottles with gasoline and set them alight in the electricity room on the mall's third floor.

"Lin Chang-cheng ignored public safety by masterminding the arson because of his personal problems at work and invited Wang and Lin Ching-chi to join the plan. Both Lin Ching-chi and Wang showed remorse for their crimes after they were arrested. So the court issued a four-year sentence for Lin Chang-cheng and three years and eight months for both Wang and Lin Ching-chi," said a court spokesman.

An unnamed Core Pacific official yesterday was quoted as saying that the damage to the company's reputation had been greater than its financial losses.

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