Wu Chin-hu (吳金虎), a senior member of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP), was yesterday detained for alleged involvement in debt collecting, street violence and physical assault.
Wu and his men “used the CUPP’s registration as a political party to cover up their actual operations and run a criminal gang,” Changhua County prosecutors said, citing Wu’s criminal record.
The Changhua District Court denied Wu bail and approved prosecutors’ request to detain him with restricted communication.
Photo: Liberty Times
Prosecutors said that Wu, 47, is closely associated with CUPP founder Chang An-le (張安樂), a former leader of the Bamboo Union who is known as the White Wolf, and led security escort teams to protect Chang during the Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage last month.
Wu is facing charges in connection with blackmail, making threats, offenses against personal liberty and breaches of the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪防制條例).
Police Captain Hsu Hung-chieh (徐宏杰), head of the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Third Crime-Fighting Unit, said that Wu belonged to the Bamboo Union and had been a top leader in the gang’s “Ground Tiger chapter” in Changhua and Taichung.
“Wu has been investigated in connection with numerous criminal cases over the past 10 years, and has been convicted and served brief prison terms,” Hsu said.
Wu and his Ground Tiger chapter allegedly profited from operating gambling dens, taking commissions for collecting debts on behalf of loan sharks and other illegal activities, Hsu added.
“As a top-ranking member of the CUPP and the Bamboo Union, Wu used his status to threaten victims who were unable to repay loans with high interest rates,” Hsu said.
Victims allegedly cited Wu as telling them: “You can ask around and find out from people about me; I am quite well-known among gangsters and police.”
In one case, the proprietor of a company in Changhua said that after Wu and his men visited him about NT$400,000 that he owed, he became so frightened that he moved his business to another city.
“Late last year, one man wanted to quit as a member of Wu’s local chapter, but Wu led about 30 people to beat him up,” Hsu said. “Wu also fought other local gangs when acting as head of security for Chang An-le during last month’s Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage in Changhua County.”
Prosecutors said that Chang had personally chosen Wu to lead the Bamboo Union’s local chapter and appointed him as regional director of the CUPP’s Taichung chapter.
Wu allegedly mobilized his supporters numerous times for the CUPP’s pro-China street rallies, prosecutors said.
Wu, whose original name is Wu Yin-lan (吳銀嵐), was last month summoned for questioning along with six other suspects facing charges for violence and gangster activities. All were released on bail.
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