Two men suspected of planting suitcase explosive devices on a high-speed rail train and near a lawmaker’s office on Friday last week were repatriated from China yesterday, investigators said.
Investigators made the announcement at a press conference presided over by National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) yesterday afternoon.
Police said that the two men, surnamed Chu (朱) and Hu (胡), were apprehended and repatriated under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance, and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 3:30pm under police escort.
Photo: Mandy Cheng, AFP
The pair left for Macau at about 4pm on Friday, just hours after they allegedly planted explosives on a high-speed rail train traveling from Greater Kaohsiung to Taipei, as well as outside Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Chia-chen’s (廬嘉辰) constituency office in New Taipei City (新北市), police said.
The suitcases contained gasoline, electric detonators and timers, with some holding gas cartridges, hydrochloric acid and sodium cyanide, police said.
Preliminary investigations indicated that Chu was in charge of planting the suitcases, while Hu was thought to be responsible for driving Chu to the locations and manufacturing the explosive devices, Wang said.
He said that Chu had confessed to the allegations made against him and had given a statement while being questioned by Chinese police, but Hu, a lawyer from Greater Taichung, had denied any involvement in the case.
Although police had suspected the incidents could be politically motivated because a note that included President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) name had been attached to the suitcases outside Lu’s office, no evidence has been uncovered to suggest politics were a motive, Wang said.
Investigators identified Hu as a possible suspect on Friday night after DNA traces collected from the suitcases pointed to him, only to realize that he had boarded a flight to Macau earlier that day, Wang said.
After contacting the Macau police, investigators found that Hu had gone to Zhuhai City in Guangdong Province at 7pm on Friday, Wang said.
Wang said investigators named Chu as an accomplice after fingerprints collected from a minivan that was used to transport the suitcases reportedly matched Chu’s and because he had been on the same flight to Macau as Hu.
“We then immediately activated the cross-strait crime-fighting mechanism to alert Chinese police so they could apprehend the pair,” Wang said.
The men were arrested in a hotel in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, at about 1am on Sunday, he said.
Huang Chi-chih (黃繼智), director of the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s 5th Investigation Brigade and a specialist in bomb prevention, said the suspects could have learned to make explosives from the Internet.
“Although the explosives were crudely made, they could still have caused devastating damage had they been detonated,” Huang said.
A TAIWAN FIRST: The duo are the first badminton players from Taiwan to climb an Olympic podium, and Tai Tzu-ying has a shot at doing the same today Taiwanese badminton duo Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) yesterday won the nation’s first Olympic gold medal in the sport when they prevailed over a third-seeded Chinese pair in the final of the men’s doubles at the Tokyo Olympics. Lee and Wang, both first-time Olympians, defeated Liu Yuchen (劉雨辰) and Li Junhui (李俊慧) 21-18, 21-12 in a 34-minute final at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza. As of yesterday, Taiwan had bagged seven medals in Tokyo — two golds, two silvers and three bronzes — topping its previous best of five medals in 2000 and 2004. Taiwan moved to No. 17 in the
NO ‘ONE CHINA’ LIE: The appropriations act passed the US House of Representatives with a vote of 217-212, but still needs Senate approval and the president’s signature The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a foreign assistance spending bill with an amendment forbidding that funds be used to create, procure or display maps depicting Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. The amendment was introduced by five Republican representatives — Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack and Mike Gallagher — and passed unanimously in a bundle with a dozen other amendments. “This is a common sense measure,” Tiffany said, speaking on the House floor on Wednesday. “As we all know, Taiwan has never been part of communist China. The Taiwanese people elect their
‘TEAM TAIWAN’: Taiwanese athletes have performed admirably and raised the nation’s profile, but many abroad still think they are Chinese, an advocate said Advocacy groups have called for the national team to compete under the name “Taiwan” at the Tokyo Olympics, while former Olympian Chi Cheng (紀政) has launched another referendum petition on the issue. Taiwanese athletes have performed outstandingly at the Olympics and have raised the nation’s profile on the world stage, Northern Taiwan Society chairman Lee Chuan-hsin (李川信) said on Friday. “Many foreign news agencies, including Japan’s NHK, have called our delegation ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Chinese Taipei.’ Therefore our own people and politicians should also speak of ‘Team Taiwan’ and Taiwanese athletes,” he said. “However, in Taiwan, most of the time the Taiwanese team
SOAKED: Although rain in central and southern Taiwan is to ease today, chances of heavy or extremely heavy rain would be high in the morning, a CWB forecaster said Extreme torrential rain brought by a southwesterly jet stream yesterday wreaked havoc in central and southern Taiwan, causing flash floods and triggering mudflows and landslides in mountainous areas. By 5pm yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau’s observation station in Yuyoushan (御油山) in Kaohsiung’s Liouguei District (六龜) had registered accumulated rainfall of 726.5mm since 12am on Saturday, the highest among the bureau’s observation stations. It was followed by the observation station in Kaohsiung’s Maolin District (茂林), which recorded accumulated rainfall of 671.5mm over the period. Six of the 10 observation stations that recorded the highest accumulated rainfall yesterday were in Liouguei, bureau