Taichung prosecutors on Friday requested the death sentence for four suspects who allegedly beat a man to death.
Ko Tsung-heng (柯宗亨) allegedly hired the four men as enforcers for a job scam and fraud ring that he allegedly operated out of a residence in Taichung’s Beitun District (北屯), prosecutors said.
Judicial investigators and police began investigating after a corpse covered in bruises and other injuries was found at a cemetery on Dec. 8 last year. The body was identified as a man surnamed Lin (林).
During a raid, 16 suspected members of the ring were arrested and 15 victims who had been confined were freed.
The ring posted job openings online and offered loans, and then kidnapped the victims and forced them to divulge their bank account details, prosecutors said.
The ring defrauded 79 people of a total of NT$84 million (US$2.76 million), most of which was transferred overseas to be laundered, investigators said.
Prosecutors said Lin refused to cooperate with the scammers and was taken to the Beitun residence, where the four enforcers — Liu Yi-heng (劉益亨), 32, and three men in their 20s surnamed Cheng (鄭), Huang (黃) and Jen (任) — allegedly beat him to death with wooden clubs and metal rods.
All 16 suspects, including Ko, have been charged with fraud, organized crime, money laundering, illegal confinement, assault and other offenses.
“Ko’s criminal ring carried out violence ... with extreme cruelty, viciously beating those who refused to cooperate,” the indictment read. “Therefore we are asking the court to impose a heavy punishment for all 16 suspects, and request the death penalty for the four members who inflicted the beating that caused Lin’s death.”
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