Six members of a criminal gang who attempted to extort half a million Taiwan Dollars from a business in Pingtung County were arrested by a police task force Monday evening, January 8.
Shortly after midnight, Friday, January 5, a gang of armed men stormed into a “health spa” in Hengchun Township. Two of the men were brandishing military assault rifles, which they pointed at management and staff members, ordering them to sit down before telling them they had come to help settle a dispute, and demanded NT$500,000 for the service.
The proprietor, Mr Lin, was scared out of his wits, according to an Apple Daily report. But not being able to make head nor tail of what dispute the men were referring to, Lin refused to pay up.
CCTV footage released to the media today, shows the gang leader firing two shots, one into the ceiling, and another into a wall during the incident. Another man, also carrying an assault rifle was seen aiming into the air and firing a shot out the front door of the establishment.
Pingtung County police formed an ad-hoc task force to investigate the case. At around 7:00 pm, Monday evening, January 8, a team of plain-clothes police swooped on a residence and arrested the ringleader, a 25 year-old man named Zhang, who has previous criminal records for firearms, drugs, sexual assault, burglary, harmful injury, intimidation, and fraud.
When Zhang, accompanied by his 22 year-old girlfriend, and driving his mother’s car, pulled into the driveway of his rented accommodation, an unmarked police car pulled in behind to block his exit, and police officers on foot rushed in with guns drawn.
As Zhang exited the vehicle, he pulled a handgun out of a backpack and aimed it at the officers. One police officer grabbed Zhang’s gun arm while another put a headlock on the 190 cm, 100 kg suspect.
A search of the suspect’s backpack and car turned up 53 rounds of ammunition and two steel pipe shotguns.
According to various media reports, Zhang’s five accomplices have also been arrested, but the 2 assault rifles have not yet been located.