Latvian Andrejs Peregudovs and two Romanians suspected of involvement in an automated teller machine (ATM) heist of more than NT$83 million (US$2.6 million) earlier this month were arrested in Yilan County and Taipei yesterday, police said.
Peregudovs was wanted by authorities as a key suspect in a criminal ring of more than 10 members that allegedly stole NT$83.27 million from 41 First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) ATMs in Taipei and Taichung on July 9 and July 10.
Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) officials yesterday raided the Grand Victoria Hotel (維多麗亞酒店) in Taipei’s Dazhi (大直)area where the two Romanian suspects were staying and found three suitcases containing bundles of cash that police believe could be connected to the heist.
As of press time last night, police had counted about NT$45 million in banknotes.
Taipei City Police officials said they also took a Taiwanese woman into custody, reportedly Peregudovs’ girlfriend, who is a suspected accomplice to the crime.
Police said she might have helped the Latvian and the two Romanian suspects book hotel rooms and hide.
CIB investigators said they had the two Romanian suspects under surveillance for a few days, and only moved in after the key suspect, Peregudovs, was arrested in Yilan yesterday at about 4:30pm.
Peregudovs was yesterday evening transferred to Taipei for questioning by a police task force established for the case, after Yilan police searched a bed-and-breakfast where he was staying.
Officials credited an observant off-duty Taipei police officer heading to his family home in Yilan County for spotting a man resembling Peregudovs having lunch at a restaurant in Yilan’s Dongao (東澳) earlier yesterday.
The off-duty officer called local police and followed Peregudovs as the suspect rode off on a bicycle wearing a backpack after finishing lunch.
Yilan police tracked him down on the Suao-Hualien Highway and took him into custody.
The man at first refused to give his identity and said he had nothing to do with the ATM heist, police said.
However, using fingerprints, photographs and other evidence, police were able to identify Peregudovs and began preliminary questioning regarding his suspected involvement in the case.
Additional reporting by CNA
‘DOWN TO ZERO 2.0’: All pilots are to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew on long-haul flights have to quarantine for 14 days The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced stricter measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among China Airlines (華航) flight crew, as the nature of the confirmed cases indicated an unknown chain of transmission within the airline. The “Down to Zero 2.0” plan will be tough on China Airlines personnel, but is necessary to minimize the risk to society, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Under the measures, all China Airlines pilots and copilots are to be recalled to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew who are returning from long-haul flights or who have
TAKING NOTICE: In the first time that G7 foreign ministers have mentioned Taiwan in a joint communique, they called for ‘peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait’ The Presidential Office yesterday thanked the G7 foreign ministers for their strong support of Taiwan after the group in its joint statement on Wednesday called for the nation’s participation in the WHO, and the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The ministers in a communique issued at the end of their three-day meeting declared support for “Taiwan’s meaningful participation” in WHO forums and the World Health Assembly (WHA). “The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said. The statement included a section
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
UP TO TWO DAYS: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said that most who got the shot and felt discomfort only felt ill for the first two days Employees can ask for unpaid COVID-19 vaccination leave, from the day of their shot until the end of the next day, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, adding that the policy takes effect immediately. “The policy of unpaid COVID-19 vaccination leave will be implemented starting on May 5, and all workers and civil servants will be eligible,” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news conference. Leave can be taken on the day of vaccination and if recipients feel discomfort after getting the shot, they can extend the leave to all of the