The Changhua District Court sentenced two men to three years and eight months in jail for stealing the ashes of Cheng Shin Rubber Industrial Co founder Lo Chieh-min (羅結民) and attempting to ransom them back to his family for NT$60 million (US$1.95 million), the court said in a statement on Wednesday.
Lo, whose company is known internationally as Maxxis, died in March 2019, with his ashes interred in a family tomb at an undisclosed public cemetery, the court said.
A former 18-year Cheng Shin employee surnamed Tu (?) who knew the location of the tomb planned to steal and ransom Lo’s ashes to pay NT$2.7 million in debt, the court said.
Photo: Taipei Times file
On the night of Feb. 8, Tu and a friend, surnamed Chang (張), drove to the cemetery, broke into the tomb and took the urn containing Lo’s ashes, it said.
After Chang returned to his home in Changhua’s Yuanlin City (員林), he asked a friend of his, surnamed Lin (林), to call Lo’s second son, Lo Tsai-jen (羅才仁), and demand money, the court said.
In calls placed on Feb. 9 and 10, Lin told Lo Tsai-jen that he “had something of his father’s” and would “destroy it or reveal it to the media” if he did not receive a payment of NT$30 million, the court said.
However, Lin backed out upon learning that Chang was extorting Lo Tsai-jen, the statement said.
Chang doubled the ransom to NT$60 million and sent Lo Tsai-jen a photograph of the urn, warning him not the call the police, it said.
However, he did call the police — on Feb. 15 — and Tu, Chang and Lin were detained separately on Feb. 17 or afterward, it said.
All three admitted their involvement to investigators and Lo’s remains were returned to his family, the court said.
Tu and Chang were found guilty of offenses against graves and corpses in the Criminal Code, while Lin was sentenced to seven months for attempted extortion, it said.
The verdicts can be appealed.
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