Sun, Jul 11, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Police draw veil of silence over fugitive's arrest

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The police yesterday asked the media to "keep a low profile" until they have notorious fugitive Chen Yi-hua's (陳益華) in custody.

"I will not make any more comments on Chen Yi-hua's case until he has been escorted back to Taiwan," said Hou You-yi (侯友宜), commissioner of the National Police Agency's Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Hou said that the police in China would also refrain from confirming or denying whether Chen is the man they arrested on Tuesday.

"At this moment, our best policy is to keep a low profile to avoid blowing the case," Hou said.

However, Hou confirmed that Chen was being investigated for using VCDs to blackmail a Tai-wanese entertainment figure, but denied rumors that the disks contained footage of the victim having sex with several women.

Bureau Secretary-General Kao Cheng-sheng (高政昇) announced on Friday that Chen had been arrested by the police in China.

According to the Taipei City Police Department's Hsinyi Precinct, the victim in the blackmail case has been identified as Yang Teng-kuei (楊登魁), owner of the local cable TV station GTV.

Police at the Hsinyi Precinct said that the case involves only one VCD, which had been sent on Tuesday from Sanchung City, Taipei County, to GTV's Taipei offices, addressed to Yang. Inside the package were a note and the VCD.

According to the police, Chen told Yang that he needed NT$50 million before Thursday or he would have to "do something." Chen had allegedly signed the note, along with his fingerprint.

The footage on the VCD is of Chen and his accomplice Hsueh Chiu (薛球), who is also a wanted fugitive, sitting on a sofa and playing with pistols and bullets. Chen also said, "Do you want me as your friend or simply want to be shot? It is your call." The disk contains about 50 seconds of footage, police said.

The police said they believe that somebody in this country is helping the two fugitives. This unidentified person is probably based in the Taipei metropolitan area, since the package had been mailed from Taipei County.

The police are confident that they will soon have Hsueh in custody with the help of their counterparts in China, as Hsueh is suffering from liver problems.

"We believe that the Chinese police will find Hsueh, because our experience has taught us that they hate people like Hsueh and Chen more than we do," Hou said. "It is just a matter of time before we get Hsueh and Chen back to Taiwan for potential prosecution and trials."

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