Fri, Jun 03, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors indict Wang for murder in poisoning

INTENT TO KILL Prosecutors say Wang Chin-chan was motivated to inflict harm when he poisoned the energy drinks, and are still probing claims he had an accomplice

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Energy-drink poisoner Wang Chin-chan (王進展) was indicted yesterday for murder by the Taichung Prosecutors' Office, which recommended a death sentence to the court.

"Wang laced Bullwild (蠻牛) and Paolyta B (保力達B) drinks with cyanide and a person died drinking the poisonous drink. The crime Wang admitted to was very cruel and evil. He also caused the public to panic," said Chang Hung-mo (張宏謀), a spokesman for the Taichung Prosecutors' Office.

"In order to prevent other incidents of tampering or blackmail, the office swiftly indicted Wang, and recommended a death penalty to the court," Chang added.

Prosecutors said they had confirmed that Wang had poisoned nine bottles of Bullwild and two bottles of Paolyta B. The video monitors recorded Wang putting 11 tainted drinks 11 different stores.

Chou Yi-kuei (周乙桂) died after he drank a bottle of poisoned Bullwild. Chao Shih-fang (趙世芳), Lee Feng-ming (李峰銘) and Ho Han-shen (何漢森) became ill after drinking it.

Wang defended himself, saying that he had not intended to kill anyone, because he had made stickers that read "I am poisonous, don't drink," and had placed them on the bottles.

However, prosecutors said Wang could have anticipated the deaths that would result from people drinking the poisoned drinks, so prosecutors considered that Wang had intent to cause harm and kill people.

Wang told prosecutors that a Chinese national, "Zhang Chi" (章池) was his accomplice. Zhang gave him 300g of cyanide and he brought the poison into the country in hundreds of capsules.

Prosecutors said, however, that Wang offered no details about Zhang and had no contact information, so they believe Zhang does not exist.

But they are still investigating whether any Chinese national was involved in the poisonings.

Prosecutors said Wang poisoned the energy drinks and planned to demand that their manufacturer, Paolyta Co, pay NT$10,000,000 (US$320,000). But after Chou died and police released security footage of Wang in various convenience stores, Wang became afraid and abandoned the plan to extort money from the company.

Prosecutors said Wang planned to make threatening calls from China to direct the beverage company to deposit the sum in a China-based account.

Prosecutors said that Wang decided to blackmail the drink company because he had more than NT$1 million (US$32,000) in debts.

Prosecutors added that Wang had robbed a bank at CKS International Airport in 1993. He stole more than NT$5 million, but was arrested eight days later. Wang was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and was paroled in 2003.

In related news, Kaohsiung police yesterday arrested a man named Chien Hun-wen (簡亨紋) who allegedly called a beverage company in Kaohsiung and claimed to be the Bullwild poisoner after the Bullwild poisonings took place.

Police said that Chien asked the company to pay him NT$20,000,000 (US$ 640,000), or else he threatened to poison a number of the company's drinks, but the company did not pay him.

Police said Chien confessed to having threatened the company.

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