Smuggled Firearms Traced to Bamboo Union Gang: More Arrests Today

[Picture: Criminal Investigation Bureau.]

Two suspects involved in the smuggling of 109 guns and more than 12,000 rounds of ammunition intercepted at Keelung Harbor last month were arrested today in Chiayi City, after investigators traced the shipment to a branch of the Bamboo Union gang.

Customs officers found the cache of weapons April 29, in a shipment of plastic extrusion machines shipped to the Port of Keelung from Hong Kong. Police and customs officers kept the shipment under surveillance until it was delivered to a warehouse in Sanxia District May 4. A SWAT team then swooped in and arrested six people, including a 31 year-old man named Chen who had taken charge of the consignment.

Investigators found that Chen had been hired by a man named Lin who had leased the warehouse specifically for the purpose of the smuggling operation. Lin had been hired by a man named Liao, the leader of the Banciao branch of the Hong-ren club.

The Hong-ren Club is a notorious gang with a long history of extreme violence, also known to have the heaviest firepower among Taiwan’s criminal gangs. The Hong-ren Club is part of the United Bamboo Gang – an alliance of gangs that forms the largest of Taiwan’s three main criminal triads and has often been involved in politics, supporting pro-China political parties, and China-unification groups.

Liao was one of two men arrested by Singapore police May 9, and extradited back to Taiwan. Liao had been in Macau on the day the shipment landed in Taiwan, and was due to return to Taiwan on May 5. However, Liao fled to Malaysia on the day the shipment was raided by police, and had then traveled to Singapore.

This morning, SWAT police raided an apartment in Chiayi City and arrested Lin and his girlfriend.

SWAT police raid an apartment in Chiayi City today, May 17.
SWAT police raid an apartment in Chiayi City today, May 17. Picture: Criminal Investigation Bureau.
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