Mon, Apr 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Three teenagers arrested over online bomb threats

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung and Taichung police yesterday made arrests in two separate cases in which people posted bomb threats online, saying they would bomb trains and government buildings.

In the Kaohsiung case, police searched a residence in Zihguan District (梓官) and arrested a man surnamed Hung (洪) who allegedly wrote that he would bomb the Kaohsiung MRT system, Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) trains and government buildings.

Investigators displayed statements that they said Hung wrote on the Web site of the Railway Police Bureau’s Taipei Office after 7:30pm on Saturday.

TAKING REVENGE

“I bought bombs with clocks online ... to take revenge on selfish people,” the messages read. “The bags [for the bombs] have been prepared and I have surreptitiously placed them on MRT trains and THSR rail trains.”

Authorities acted quickly, boosting security measures on the Taipei MRT and on all THSR trains, while police cybercrime units traced a suspect behind the IP address from which they received the threats.

When police located Hung and searched his residence, they found the threatening messages on his notebook computer and detained him for questioning as prosecutors sought to file charges of issuing threats against public safety.

Hung told police he does not know how to make bombs, they said, quoting him as saying: “My job is not going well and I am having financial difficulty, so it was just a way to vent my frustration.”

TAICHUNG MAYOR

In the other case, the Criminal Investigation Bureau joined Taichung police to arrest two high-school students surnamed Hou (侯) and Liao (廖), who they said had threatened to “blow up Taichung Railway Station and assassinate [Taichung Mayor] Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).”

The threats were posted on March 23 and at first police traced them to a 14-year-old student surnamed Hsu (許), they said, adding that Hsu turned out to have passed his Facebook account name and password to someone else while chatting in the game World of Tanks.

Several days of investigation brought police to Hou and Liao, they said, adding that after their arrest, they found out that the two had formed a “High School Terrorist Strike Unit” together with another high-school-age player of World of Tanks in Hong Kong surnamed Yuen (袁).

JUST FOR FUN

The two suspects caused public fear because, besides threatening to bomb the train station and to assassinate the mayor, they said they would kill people on a public square and would strike at a nearby military base, Taichung Criminal Investigation Unit Deputy Captain Chao Jui-sheng (趙瑞昇) said.

“The two suspects during questioning said that they only did it for fun and did not know they were breaking the law,” Chao said.

Prosecutors would charge them with issuing threats against public safety and, as the suspects are underage, the case would be handled by the Juvenile Court in accordance with the Juvenile Delinquency Act (少年事件處理法), Chao said.

Taiwanese authorities have notified and passed information in the case to their counterparts in Hong Kong, who would investigate Yuen’s involvement, he said.

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