Police discovered what they called “a small arsenal” of weapons after arresting a gangster wanted in relation to a kidnapping for ransom case. The haul included a sub-machine gun and a grenade.
Earlier this year, during the Chinese New Year holidays, the son of a gang boss serving time in prison, was kidnapped and held for 14 hours. The kidnappers demanded a NT$5 million ransom.
Police investigators had been working on the case for more than four months. After identifying a suspect surnamed Tu (涂), who is known as “Leopard” in Taiwan’s criminal underworld, police formed a squad called project Wanted Fox. Yesterday, the squad of nineteen police officers headed south to Kenting to make the arrest.
The police officers waited until the suspect was enjoying a bowl of beef noodles before surrounding the noodle shop to make the arrest.
An accomplice Bo Lai (24 years old) sat in a car outside the noodle shop and refused to open the door, police smashed the car window and fired warning shots before Bo Lai surrendered. A haul of weapons and ammunition that included two handguns, an MP5 submachine gun, a grenade, and 117 rounds of ammunition were found in the car along with 5.3kg of drugs. Police said it was fortunate they had arrested the suspect when he was unarmed, otherwise a dangerous gunfight may have ensued.
Police describe Tu, 25 years-old, as a boss of Taichung City’s “new generation” of criminals involved in international telecommunications fraud. It is estimated the group earned NT$500 million over a 2 year period.
Tu is wanted on 16 charges including fraud, attempted murder, negligent injury, guns, ammunition and knives crimes, forgery, organized crime, and obstruction of justice. The gangster evaded arrest 3 times last year. The name “Wanted Fox” was chosen because the suspect is considered cunning and daring.
January 28 this year, the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar, Tu enticed the 21 year old son of a gang boss to a gas station in Taichung City. After the 21 year-old named Chang arrived accompanied by his maternal uncle, Tu along with 2 car-loads of accomplices surrounded the young man and beat him up. Chang’s uncle fled and hid inside the gas station after shots were fired.
Shortly after, Chang’s family received a phone call from the kidnappers who demanded NT$5 million.
During the kidnapping, the perpetrators hit Chang over the head with a blunt object, and pressed his head down so he couldn’t identify their route. The kidnappers drove around Taichung City for a long time to make the hostage think he had been taken to a distant location, but in fact, the drive ended only two kilometers away from the scene of the kidnapping.
Police rescued the hostage 14 hours later and arrested 9 people, but “the leopard” had again evaded capture.