Sat, Jul 10, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Police attempt extradition of `kidnapper' from Fujian

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The police said yesterday that they are working hard to make a deal with their counterparts in China to repatriate Chen Yi-hua (陳益華), one of Taiwan's most wanted fugitives, who was confirmed to have been arrested in Xiamen on Tuesday.

"Our source confirmed his [Chen's] arrest on Tuesday. At the moment we are trying to get him back for potential prosecution and trial," said Kao Cheng-sheng (高政昇), secretary-general of the National Police Agency's Criminal Investigation Bureau.

According to Kao, undercover police sources reported that Chen tried to blackmail a Taiwanese entertainer last weekend. The reports claim that Chen told the entertainer that he possessed three VCDs of him having sex, and that Chen demanded NT$100 million to give up the disks. The VCDs apparently contain footage from hidden cameras.

The entertainer tried to buy himself some time by telling Chen that he would not pay until he had seen the VCDs and made sure that they contained footage of him.

In the meantime, the entertainer contacted friends on the Chinese police force and asked them for help. The Chinese police discovered that Chen was hiding in Xiamen and arrested him at his residence there on July 6. Sources said that Chen is still being detained in Xiamen.

No mention was made during the arrest of Chen's friend Hsueh Chiu (薛球), who is also a wanted fugitive.

Due to privacy concerns, Kao yesterday refused to reveal the name of the entertainer, but said that he is a heavyweight in the Taiwanese entertainment industry.

As of press time yesterday, Chinese police had not responded to the request to repatriate Chen.

Hsueh and Chen gained notoriety due to their involvement in several shooting and kidnapping cases.

The most recent crimes they have been linked to include the kidnapping of the three sons and brother-in-law of a wealthy Chiayi businessman in March last year and the kidnapping of Taichung City Council Vice Speaker Chang Hung-nien (張宏年) on Oct. 1, 2002.

Hsueh and Chen released the hostages in the Chiayi case after escaping with NT$4.8 million, and Chang was released when his family handed over an undisclosed sum.

A dispute erupted between prosecutors and judges after Hsueh and Chen were arrested by Miaoli police on March 21, 2000, but were released the same day by the Miaoli District Court on bail of NT$200,000 and NT$300,000 respectively.

The two fugitives have been on the run ever since. Undercover police sources said that they fled to China and have been staying in Xiamen since September last year.

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