Business tycoon found dead after ransom is paid
Central News Agency
2014-08-25 09:33 AM
Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) A business tycoon based in Taichung was confirmed dead late Sunday after missing for a week in an abduction apparently carried out with the help of the billionaire's personal chauffeur, police said. The decomposing body of the 57-year-old man was found in the mountains in Tainan City, southern Taiwan, following his abduction early Aug. 18, when he returned from a trip to the United States and was picked up by his chauffeur at the airport, according to the police. Some local newspapers identified the chauffeur as Hsieh Yuan-hsin, a 39-year-old who has worked for the businessman for more than four years. Instead of being sent home, the victim, identified by the newspapers as Shih Chia-chin, told his family to transfer NT$30 million (US$1 million) to a bank account designated by his kidnappers, police said. "Do it or I won't be able to come home," Shih was quoted as telling his family on the phone. His family completed the transfer before calling the police later that day, seeing no sign of the victim, according to the investigators. The police used surveillance cameras to determine that the chauffeur had three accomplices, who abandoned Shih's Mercedes-Benz in Tainan that same day. It took the police two days to find the victim's body left in the remote mountainous area after locating the abandoned vehicle. Hsieh fled to Thailand using a relative's passport on the night of the abduction. Hours earlier, he had tried to transfer a large amount of money from a bank in Tainan but gave up when a teller appeared to have become suspicious. The victim, who made a fortune from online gambling business, became a billionaire by investing in real estate and operating hypermarkets in both Taiwan and abroad. During the search for the victim, the police found substantial amounts of blood in Shih's car and in a Taichung motel where he was believed to have been taken shortly after his abduction. A prosecutor leading the investigation have questioned and later released two people, including a man whose passport was used by Hsieh to leave the country. (By Chen Shu-fen and Jay Chen)
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