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July 29, 2017

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Arrests made in billionaire murder case

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Police yesterday arrested two suspects surnamed Lin and Cheng in Pingtung and Yulin who allegedly kidnapped and killed billionaire Shih Chia-chin (施家金).

Police said that Lin confessed to participating in the kidnapping but claims not to know anything about the killing of the victim, according to the Central News Agency (CNA).

Taichung prosecutors yesterday said that another suspect, surnamed Hsieh, who recently fled to Thailand, allegedly worked with two or three others, including Lin, to abduct, kill and abandon the body of his employer.

Shih arrived at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport from the U.S. on the morning of Aug. 18 and requested that Hsieh — his driver — pick him up at the airport. Hsieh later demanded a ransom of NT$50 million from Shih's family, and asked the family to wire an initial installment of NT$30 million into three of the victim's bank accounts, police said.

After receiving the kidnappers' call for ransom, the family wired the money into the designated accounts and then reported the kidnapping to police. Hsieh, on the afternoon of the same day, went to a bank in Tainan and demanded the money transfer service. An employee of the bank requested that Hsieh present his identification in accordance with regulations, but Hsieh refused and left the scene immediately without transferring the ransom money into his own account. Shih's family did not hear from the kidnappers after that, police said.

Police and prosecutors on Aug. 19 discovered the vehicle that Hsieh had used to pick up Shih at an interchange section in Tainan. Investigators the next day further discovered that Hsieh had already fled to Thailand using a forged passport.

Prosecutors and police on the night of Aug. 24 discovered the body of a man in a mountainous area in Tainan County; the body had over 20 puncture wounds to the back and had already started to decay. Shih's family went to identify the body and confirmed that it was the victim, according to CNA.

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