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Taiwan's CIB seeks Thai police help in finding murder suspect
Publication Date : 27-08-2014
Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday said it had asked its Thai counterpart for assistance in tracking the whereabouts of Hsieh Yuan-hsin — the main suspect in the murder of Taiwanese billionaire Shih Chia-chin.
According to police, Hsieh, Shih's driver, allegedly abducted, killed and abandoned the body of his employer. Hsieh's two accomplices — Lin Chih-hsiung, 31, and Cheng Ching-ta, 26 — were arrested in Pingtung and Yulin on Monday night. Police believe that Hsieh fled to Thailand on Aug. 18 using a forged passport — which he created by pasting his own photo into his cousin's passport.
Taichung prosecutors said they suspect that Hsieh had two escape plans — using his own passport to fly to Hong Kong or using the forged passport to flee to Thailand.
The CIB said it has confirmed with Thai police that Hsieh entered Thailand with his fake passport, adding that it suspects Hsieh currently is still in Thailand but may move on to Cambodia or Myanmar from there.
The passport used by Hsieh was canceled immediately after the Bureau of Consular Affairs was notified of the case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Hsieh was discovered to have a bank account in Hong Kong and he had been to the city in May of this year, CIB said yesterday, adding that they are still figuring out these facts' relevance to the case.
In response to speculation that there may a fourth suspect in the murder, as recently discovered surveillance footage shows that Hsieh bought four lunchboxes on the day before the abduction took place, prosecutors said there is no reason to assume so.
The two accomplices refused to be questioned in the middle of the night after being arrested on Monday. As a result, the prosecutors carried out questioning yesterday morning.
The pair confessed to participating in the kidnapping of Shih, but denied killing the victim, prosecutors said.
They claim to have assisted Hsieh in binding the victim while Hsieh took all of Shih's money and other valuable items. All the three of them parted ways after Hsieh gave each of them NT$20,000 (US$667.8), prosecutors said.
Shih was allegedly abducted by Hsieh on the morning of Aug. 18 after being picked up at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The suspects made a call to Shih's family and demanded a ransom of NT$50 million ($1.67 million). The victim was later found dead with over 20 puncture wounds in his back in a mountainous area on the night of Aug. 24, police said.