Mon, Aug 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Two arrested in grisly murder

YONGHE MURDER:Police have identified three suspects after accessing several phones and Philippine authorities are looking for a tattooist who left the day of the murder

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

New Taipei City police have arrested two suspects after the murder of Canadian Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose torso was found on a riverbank in New Taipei City earlier this week, and are working to have a third brought back to Taiwan from the Philippines.

At a bail hearing at the New Taipei City District Court yesterday, the judge said that American Ewart Bent, 38, was to be detained with restricted communications, as evidence pointed to his involvement in the murder and it was possible that he would collude with others, tamper with evidence or flee the country.

The second suspect, Wu Hsuan (吳宣), 21, has dual Taiwanese-Canadian citizenship and is accused of purchasing the murder weapons. He was released on NT$300,000 bail, but the court placed him under travel restrictions.

The third suspect is a 38-year-old American, who is registered with the Chinese name Sun Wu-sheng (孫武生) and goes by the alias “Oz Diamond” on Facebook, Yonghe Police Precinct Investigation Division head Lin Chen-jui (林振瑞) told a news conference on Saturday.

Sun works as a tattoo artist and Wu works at a nightclub in Taipei, Lin said.

Sun boarded a flight to the Philippines on Wednesday, when the dismembered body of 34-year-old Ramgahan was found on the embankment of the Sindian River (新店溪) in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和), Lin said, adding that Philippine authorities are assisting in the matter.

Investigators found that Wu had purchased the murder weapons, including two machetes and a wire saw, for Bent and Sun, Lin said.

GPS records on the two Americans’ seized smartphones places them on the Yonghe side of the Sindian River on Tuesday night, near where where Ramgahan’s body was found the next day, Lin said, adding that surveillance footage shows them riding YouBikes in the area.

Data on the victim’s phone showed that they had quarreled over drug transactions and accused Ramgahan of being an informant, following the arrests of several foreigners who had bought cannabis from him over the past few months, investigators said.

Investigators said that they had a good idea of what had taken place due to evidence found near the river, including the victim’s phone and two machetes that were allegedly used as murder weapons.

Investigators were able to access the phones’ digital records, trace all the people Ramgahan had been in contact with and read the contents of their conversations, and tracked down Wu.

Wu said that the two Americans asked him to buy a wire saw, two machetes with blades longer than 30cm and a knife-sharpening stone, but that he had insisted that he did not take part in the killing, investigators said.

Investigators quoted Bent as saying that he had served in the US Marine Corps and worked in Taiwan as an English teacher.

Bent denied any involvement, investigators said, quoting him as saying that he did not know anything about the case, but adding that they thought he was lying.

Investigators said that the two American suspects and Ramgahan dealt drugs, and were active in foreign circles in the Taipei area.

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