Alert issued on UK hit-and-run fugitive
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei Prosecutors Office issued yesterday an all-points bulletin (APB) on a foreign fugitive, an ethnic Indian holding a British passport, after the convicted drunk driver escaped Taiwan in the wake of killing a newspaper delivery man in Taipei.
January 30, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
Prosecutors confirmed that Zain Taj Dean had escaped from Taiwan by using the passport of a Caucasian friend in Taiwan on Aug. 14 last year.
They have alerted all law enforcement departments to try all possible channels to bring Dean to justice. The APB will remain effective until September 2031.
They will also investigate the operations of the National Immigration Agency (NIA) to determine how Dean, who has a dark complexion, managed to slip through the airport by presenting the passport of a man with a fair appearance.
The NIA expressed regret over the case yesterday and meted out a major demerit for the official responsible, plus a minor demerit and demotion for his superior following an internal probe.
Officials said the NIA will build a new recognition system for foreigners beginning this year to prevent possible slips in the future.
Dean had been doing business in Taiwan but was convicted and sentenced to serve four years in prison after hitting and killing Huang Jun-de, a paper delivery man, on Section 4 of Zhongxiao East Road early on a morning in March 2010.
He was first given a jail term of two years and six months. The sentence was extended to four years in a new trial after he adamantly denied that he was responsible for the accident, saying he was not at the wheel.
Dean claimed that a man providing valet services at a nightclub was driving the car when the accident took place, while he was dozing in the vehicle. Witnesses and surveillance camera footage, however, proved that Dean was driving the car and was under the influence of alcohol.
Dean blamed the police, prosecutors and media for bullying him over his nationality and ethnicity.
In addition to showing no remorse, he also refused to give any compensation to the family of Huang, who was his family's sole breadwinner. However, prosecutors and police were unable to find Dean days before he was scheduled to begin serving his term on Sept. 21 last year.
It now appears that Dean had already jumped bail of NT$150,000 and departed Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for Bangkok on Aug. 14.
Huang's family complained about the inefficiency of law enforcement in Taiwan.
His father said that Dean's escape was “unthinkable,” and that there is no excuse for such an incident.
He criticized the prosecutors for issuing the APB only after questioning Dean's accomplice, a Caucasian man teaching English in Taiwan, yesterday.
Prosecutors went on the defensive, claiming that the belated move was taken in order to catch the accomplice, who could also flee the country.
They said they are considering filing forgery charges against Dean's friend.
Court records show that this was not the first time Dean had fled Taiwan.
Investigations found that Dean first came to Taiwan under the name “Khala Hami” in 1998 to work at a local company. But he was convicted of pirating Microsoft software.
After ignoring court summons, he fled abroad and returned to Taiwan with the new name of Zain Taj Dean. His defense lawyer said that Dean returned because he “loves Taiwan too much.”
Some Netizens said the police should step up security measures to block all possible loopholes since Zain Taj Dean (Khala Hami) could potentially sneak back into Taiwan again under a third name due to his “strong love of Taiwan.”
This undated file photo shows Zain Taj Dean, who recently fled the country to avoid serving time for the death of a paper delivery man. Prosecutors have issued an all-points ...