Mon, May 16, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Kidnapping ring busted by police

CROSS-STRAIT THREAT A criminal syndicate made up of people from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Macau were arrested in what police said was a growing problem

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Police take 16 kidnapping suspects out of a Taipei County police department, yesterday, after they were interrogated. Police said the group is a part of a growing number of cross-strait criminal gangs operating in Taiwan.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SOONG, TAIPEI TIMES

Police on arrested 16 people over the weekend in connection with kidnapping and rescued a hostage on Saturday night. Many of the suspects are from China, Hong Kong or Macau.

According to police, the 22-year-old hostage, surnamed Lin is the son of a wealthy businessman in Taipei County -- Lin Chong-yi (林鐘義) -- who owns a large network of video-gambling parlors and hostess bars. Lin Chong-yi allegedly had ties to organized crime as a result of his business.

The 16 people included Yen Kun-lu (葉坤錄), Lin Chun-ming (林春明) and Chen Jia-hsiung (陳嘉雄), all of whom are from Taiwan. Yen and Lin used to work for Lin Chong-yi, and they allegedly had a business dispute with him recently.

Police said the hostage Lin was nabbed by three armed Chinese nationals on April 29 while he was talking to friends in front of his father's video-gambling parlor in Banciao, Taipei County.

Police said Lin Chong-yi was in China when his son was kidnapped. The suspects then called Lin and demanded a HK$100,000,000 ransom, authorities said.

According to Chinese-language newspaper reports, Lin told the suspects he would pay ransom, but if they killed his son, he would use his gang connections to kill them.

Lin reported the kidnapping of his son to police on May 3. Police immediately asked authorities in Macau and, who helped co-investigate the kidnapping.

Police said Lin deposited the US$3 million into the suspects' bank account belonging to "Macau Golden Technology" in Macau on May 10. The next day he deposited another US$1 million into the account.

Police also said that Lin mistakenly wrote "Macau, Macau Golden Technology," and not "Macau Golden Technology" on the deposit forms, and the money ended up in the bank account of a Hong Kong woman named Ker Jui (柯琪).

Authorities also said the suspects were very angry at Lin Chong-yi for not depositing the money into their account, and threatened to kill his son.

Ker, the Hong Kong woman, later came forward and reported the huge sum of money that mysteriously appeared in her account, and this information ultimately revealed the whereabouts of the criminal group, police said.

Taiwanese and Macau police on Friday raided a hotel in Macau and arrested 11 suspects.

Macau police kept secret the arrest of these suspects and their counterparts in Taiwan did not know the jig was up.

Law enforcement officials in Taiwan on Saturday night arrested Yen Kun-lu in Taipei, Lin Chun-ming in Taoyuan, and finally rescued the hostage Lin in Houlung, Miaoli County. Police also arrested three Chinese illegal immigrants who were in charge of detaining Lin.

The hostage told police the three Chinese tied him up with dog leashes. They even hung a hand grenade on the leashes and threatening to kill him. They also abused him, according to Lin.

Police said the criminal group was made up of four Taiwanese, three people from Hong Kong, three people from Macau, five Chinese nationals, and one Chinese-American.

Police said the criminal group was well organized, and cross-strait kidnapping gang have become a top threat to the security of Taiwan.

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