Taiwan high-speed train bombers returned by China
Suspects are lawyer and taxi driver not known as fanatics
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-04-16 02:57 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Two suspects in the placing of bombs on a high-speed train and at the office of a lawmaker arrived back in Taiwan Tuesday after having been detained in China’s Guangdong Province, National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun said.

Cable television stations showed two men cuffed by hand and feet being led through the terminal of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport amid throngs of reporters and camera teams. Neither spoke to the media.

The suspects, named Hu Tsung-hsien, 44, and Chu Ya-tung, 46, were not known as political or religious fanatics and they had no apparent special knowledge of explosives, reports said. Hu was a lawyer with an office in Taichung, while Chu worked as a taxi driver and had once been represented by Hu in a court case, though both men had criminal records, according to media reports. Wang said that Hu was the mastermind who had hired Chu to help him with the bombs.

Last Friday morning, a passenger discovered two pieces of luggage inside a toilet on a train, which forced the evacuation of more than 600 passengers at Taoyuan station. A couple of hours later, two similar suitcases turned up outside an office of ruling Kuomintang lawmaker Lu Chia-chen in Tucheng, New Taipei City.

In both cases, the luggage contained home-made explosive devices which failed to go off because of their crude nature, reports said. The explosives on board the train were timed to go off at 10 a.m. when it reached Taipei Station, media reports said Tuesday.

Recordings from surveillance cameras later showed a man in a police uniform depositing the luggage at Lu’s office and adding notes referring to President Ma Ying-jeou.

The Criminal Investigation Bureau suspected the two main suspects then drove to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and left the country the same day, April 12, reports said. Footage was found showing them at an airport car park.

Wang told a news conference in Taipei Tuesday afternoon that the two suspects flew to Macau and then crossed over into the Chinese town of Zhuhai by 7 p.m. that evening. The CID was reportedly still looking into a gap of two hours before they reached the airport during which they might have disposed of incriminating evidence.

The authorities said they immediately contacted their counterparts in China under a bilateral justice cooperation agreement.

Wang said that after spending the night in Zhuhai, the suspects moved to the city of Zhongshan the following day. Local police raided their hotel at 1 a.m. on April 14 and arrested them. CID representatives traveled to China and accompanied the suspects back to Taiwan via Macau on Tuesday afternoon.

According to media reports, the two men used a van registered to brothers from Taichung surnamed Lai. Police hauled in the brothers for questioning over the weekend.

Searches of Hu’s home in Hsinying, Tainan City, turned up a high number of gas bottles and gasoline containers which might have been used to make bombs, police said. Investigators also reportedly found other chemicals and the type of notes used at Lu’s office.

Wang said that as far as the investigation had progressed, there was only evidence that two people had prepared the bombs. Hu’s DNA on the suitcases and on the van and Chu’s fingerprints on the vehicle had helped police identify the suspects, he said.

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