Police yesterday announced that they had broken up a human smuggling ring in southern Taiwan, arresting six suspects.
Wen Chun-lung (溫俊龍), 49, allegedly specialized in transporting wanted criminals and gangsters from Taiwan to China so that they could evade prosecution, prosecutors said.
Operating over a number of years, Wen became the “big boss” of a crime ring in southern Taiwan that used motorized fishing boats and sailing yachts to smuggle people across the Taiwan Strait, they said.
Wen took on difficult and urgent jobs for crime syndicates, charging them high rates, to help gangsters avoid being found by police searches, they added.
The fishing boats and yachts were also used to smuggle contraband goods, the prosecutors said.
Frequently chartering boats for sailing trips or luxury cruises with business clients, Wen built up an extensive network of friends in the fishing industry along Taiwan’s central and southern coasts, and learned about tides and seasonal currents that lent themselves to smuggling runs, they said.
To provide a legitimate business cover for his smuggling operation, Wen registered an agricultural export company in Kinmen, they added.
The investigation showed that Wen arranged for two hired killers to flee from China to Taiwan and for karate practitioner Chu Hsueh-chang (朱雪璋), who was convicted on assault charges, to flee from Taiwan to China.
Prosecutors said that they had evidence and witness testimony that Wen charged NT$1.4 million (US$48,532) to smuggle the hired killers, who were wanted in connection with the shooting of a man surnamed Shih (史), whose body was found with 10 bullet wounds.
Chu in September was extradited from China to serve a six-year sentence for assault with aggravated injuries.
During an ambush, he beat up three martial arts practitioners with the help of about 20 gangsters at his karate club in February 2016.
One victim was left with a permanently paralyzed leg after Chu reported slashed him repeatedly with a sword.
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