Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Gang boss shot to death in Banciao

INSIDE JOB A police officer said the suspect, given the `awkwardness' of the crime, was not a professional killer, but likely someone who knew the gangster

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

An elderly gang boss known for his ruthless business savvy and violent youth was gunned down in a Taipei suburb on Friday, in what police described as a hit stemming from the gangster's involvement in illicit casinos.

Yang Ching-hsun (楊慶順), 68, was shot twice from close range in Banciao City, Taipei County, on Friday night as he walked to his girlfriend's house.

"Given that Yang Ching-hsun usually kept his whereabouts a secret, we believe that his assassin might be someone he was acquainted with," the Taipei County police officer in charge of the case, Jia Le-ji (賈樂吉), told a press conference yesterday.

Jia said that according to witnesses and a review of videotapes from surveillance monitors around the crime scene, a middle-aged man drove and parked a scooter on the road near Yang's girlfriend's home, and waited there.

Thirty minutes later, as Yang appeared, he approached the victim and fired two shots from close range and fled.

Jia said the suspect, given his "awkward actions," was probably not a professional killer, but one of Yang's acquaintances with knowledge of the gangster's routines.

Yang had been a notorious gangster in the Wanhua District of Taipei City -- an area long associated with gang activity -- since the 1950's.

Police said that Yang had a terrible temper, and when young often got in street fights with other gangsters in Wanhua with his trademark weapons: two long knives.

Yang and his associates made their money running illegal underground casinos in Wanhua, police said.

He was a ruthless gang boss, and whenever he had conflicts of interest with other illegal casinos or gangs, he was able to call in support from an allied gang in Yunlin County, which would send dozens of armed thugs to support him.

Police said Yang was also a smart businessman, and turned the profits from his casinos into legitimate real estate operations.

Unlucky customers who ran up debts in his casinos that they were unable to pay were forced to hand over their property to Yang.

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