Thu, Dec 23, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Kidnappers release orthopedist after NT$15 million paid

RANSOMED Criminals thoughtfully gave the victim cabfare home after picking up his family's payment on the freeway near Taichung

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Well-known orthopedist Lin Cheng-cheng (林政誠) was released by kidnappers yesterday morning after his family members paid a NT$15 million ransom.

The Taipei City Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division Deputy Lieutenant Liu Chung-chi (劉崇智) confirmed Lin's released and said he was unharmed.

"He is fine," Liu said. "We're looking for at least two to three kidnappers in the case. I think it will not be too difficult to find out who the mastermind is quickly."

The famous plastic surgeon was kidnapped on the morning of Dec. 19 after going to work by taxi. Witnesses told the police that Lin was last seen in front of his own clinic on Taipei's Dingzhou St.

Kidnappers made at least made four phone calls to Lin's family members and demanded a NT$50 million ransom. After negotiations, they reduced the amount to NT$15 million and asked Lin's family members to drop the money in a bag on the Second Freeway near Taichung.

Around 1:30am yesterday, Lin's family members were alerted by a phone call that Lin was released in Sindian's Bitan, a scenic attraction in Taipei County. The police said that the kidnappers gave Lin NT$1,000 so he could take a cab home.

Liu said that the kidnappers must be very familiar with Lin and aware of his movements, because he doesn't hold regular hours at his clinic and has no set route to work since he commutes by taxi.

"The kidnappers must have been observing Lin for a long time before they moved," Liu said. "We started by checking the background of his patients and close friends."

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