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September 24, 2017

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Six arrested for pro baseball rigging

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Four bookies, a D-Media T-Rex coach and its spokesman were arrested yesterday for rigging a regular Chinese Professional Baseball Leage (CPBL) game on September 9.

Taipei district prosecutors requested detention of all six for further questioning in connection with the T-Rex loss to the ChinaTrust Whales.

A Taipei District Court judge held a crash hearing to decide on the request to detain Lin Ping-wen, a well-known mafioso who forced himself into the T-Rex as partner with Shih Chien-hsin, board chairman of D-Media System Co.

He was charged with book-making, breach of trust and fraud. All six were placed under detention for further questioning.

Shih, who owns the CPBL team, was subpoenaed for questioning, but was released.

The other five taken under custody included Kuo Teh-chih, T-Rex spokesman; Wu Chao-hui, coach; and Lin Yu-ting, Lin Chia-ching and Lin Ching-chang, all book-makers.

Three T-Rex players, including pitcher Cory Bailey, were arrested Wednesday but were released on bail.

Bailey doubles as pitching coach. He was released on NT$100,000 bail. The other two players, catcher Chen Keh-fan and outfielder Chen Yuan-chia, were bailed out for NT$50,000 each.

It was the second rigged game in a year. The La New Bears were involved in the 2007 CPBL game. The CPBL has six franchised teams.

The T-Rex were taken over by Shih on February 4, one day before the 2008 season began. He bought the Makoto Bank Cobras and renamed them D-Media T-Rex.

He told police investigators he didn't know Lin was a book-maker when he let the don in as his partner.

His team was to win the September 9 game by at least two runs, according to the book-makers' plan. The game ended with the Whalers beating the T-Rex 5-4.

Police investigators said the T-Rex coach required his players to throw wild pitches, fumble and commit other fielding errors to lose the game narrowly.

"It's Lin who masterminded the upset to win the heavy wagers on the Whalers' win," one investigator pointed out.

Some T-Rex players who refused to go along with Lin and the coach were threatened, another investigator said. "Lin's soldiers threatened to wound them so that they might not be able to play again," he added.

How much money changed hands was not immediately known.

A few T-Rex players may be questioned today, investigators said.

"We are trying to find out whether they cooperated with Lin and the coach like Bailey and the two Chens," said a police lieutenant who led a round-up of the suspects on Wednesday.

Chao Shou-po, CPBL chairman, called a board meeting in the afternoon to determine how the T-Rex team should be disciplined.

He told a press conference the T-Rex would be suspended throughout the rest of this season. The team was scheduled to play two more games before the season is over.

But Li Wen-pin, CPBL treasurer, told reporters Bailey and the two Chens were suspended. "They may be suspended for the season or another year or fired," he said.

Three options are open to the CPBL to deal with the T-Rex. "The team may be disfranchised," Li said. It may be sold and kept in the league under a new name. "Or they may be told to stop playing for the rest of the season," he added.

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