Police in Kaohsiung announced the arrest of five suspects who allegedly belong to one of the nation’s major crime syndicates and used threats of kidnapping and violence to defraud their victims.
The five suspects were allegedly members of the Sun Chapter (太陽會) of the Heavenly Way Alliance, based in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢) and led by Tang Shih-hao (湯仕豪).
Although the operation was based at a tattoo shop and other nearby locations, most of the fraud victims were from Kaohsiung, police said.
After their arrest, the five suspects were transferred to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office. They were charged with fraud and offenses under the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪防制條例).
A local court yesterday approved Tang’s detention.
The group allegedly threatened victims over the telephone, saying that their sons or daughters were being held hostage because they had signed as guarantors for loans, police officials said.
They allegedly demanded that the victims pay right away by dropping the cash at a specified location, where it would be picked up by a person surnamed Chi (紀), who would then rush back to the group’s meeting point in Jhongli, the officials said.
At least four victims filed reports with the police, and they lost about NT$280,000 in total, officials said.
During the raid the five suspects were arrested, and police confiscated 1.81g of ketamine, along with 19 smoke flares, four metal baseball bats and two police truncheons, they added.
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