Tue, Dec 07, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Kidnap victim denies incident

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

A Chiayi businessman who was kidnapped on Dec. 1 and later released denied yesterday that he had actually been kidnapped, even though the kidnapper admitted his crime to police.

According to the Chiayi police, Shih-hsin Cable Co President Wang Lian-fang (王連芳), was kidnapped on Dec. 1 and detained for five days until his family paid a ransom of NT$18 million.

Wang, a Chiayi-based businessman, owns the biggest cable company in the county and also has stock in other businesses. He is also known to have connections to local politicians, police and organized crime figures.

Chiayi police officers arrested Chen Chih-chao (陳志超) and his girlfriend in connection with the kidnapping while they walked out of their residence in Taichung City around 1:20am yesterday. Officers discovered NT$700,000 in cash in Chen's vehicle, which was given to the suspects as part of the ransom.

Chen's girlfriend was later released after police determined she was not involved in the kidnapping. Chen told police during interrogation that he was working for someone in Kaohsiung, but he could not identify the person.

Chen said he was hired by this person in Kaohsiung to kidnap Wang. The Kaohsiung contact wanted Chen and his crew to "teach Wang a lesson" because he owed NT$18 million and had been trying to avoid paying the debt for the past ten years.

Police said Wang was approached at 12:44pm on Dec. 1 by three men in a minivan and a sedan while he stood near the construction site of the new Chiayi District Court. He was then subdued and kidnapped by the men. The entire incident was recorded by a security camera in the area.

In Wang's car, which was abandoned at the scene, the police discovered a blood stain and a bullet.

But the recently-freed Wang called a press conference at noon yesterday to deny everything, saying the kidnapping was merely a "misunderstanding."

"I was not kidnapped. I am sorry to bother so many people but nobody kidnapped me," Wang said. "I went to Taipei with my friends during the period but I did not tell anyone. I am sorry for that."

Asked about the blood stain on his car, Wang said he did not know of any bloodstain.

"It is still at the police station. I have no idea what blood you are talking about since I have not been bleeding," he said.

Chiayi Police Department Director Chen Kuo-an (陳國恩) said it is not fully understood what actually happened.

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