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Skipper who allegedly shot 12 crewmen extradited to Taiwan

A Taiwanese skipper who allegedly shot 12 Chinese crewmen and was responsible for the death of three more on his ship in 1999 was extradited to Taiwan for trial Tuesday after spending 13 years in a prison in Mauritius, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday.

The skipper, surnamed Kung (龔), is currently being questioned at the southern Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office regarding his role in the murders, the CIB said in a press release.

Kung has denied all accusations made against him, local media said yesterday.

According to the CIB, Kung was suspected of shooting and killing 12 Chinese sailors on his Kaohsiung-based Chin Ching 12 (金慶12號) fishing vessel during a failed mutiny attempt on Feb. 1999. The vessel at the time was sailing on waters northwest of Mauritius.

Another three Chinese crewmen threw themselves overboard and are still listed as missing, it said.

Kung was later arrested by Mauritius authorities and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Taiwanese was granted parole early this month after serving more than half of his jail term on the island-nation. He was later deported to Taiwan for trial, the CIB said.

According to the CIB, the Chinese sailors were reportedly dissatisfied with Kung's management and were planning a mutiny.

The Taiwanese skipper discovered their scheme and, as punishment, shot five Chinese crewmen with his pistol, asking their Taiwanese counterparts to throw their bodies overboard.

Kung then entered a cabin where seven other Chinese crewmen were sleeping and shot them one after another. A further three Chinese crewmen jumped off the ship after witnessing the killings, it said.

Cross-Strait Fight for Extradition

Local media reported yesterday that since the case emerged in 1999 both Taipei and Beijing have been calling on the Mauritius government to extradite Kung back to their respective countries for trial.

The island nation decided to hold Kung for trial.

The CIB received information from its liaison office in South Africa that Kung could be release on parole in August. The bureau later invited related government branches to jointly urge Mauritius to send Kung back to Taiwan for trial.

The CIB sent its representatives to Mauritius on Nov. 15 to escort Kung back to Taiwan for trial.

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A Taiwanese skipper surnamed Kung (龔), center, arrives at the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office in the escort of two Criminal Investigation Bureau officers, yesterday. (CNA)

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