On October 2 Taiwanese police arrested a member of the notorious Bamboo Gang (竹聯幫) alongside 6 other suspects, including his wife. The authorities launched a crackdown on organized crime after triad members allegedly backed by China were involved in violent clashes with pro-independence protesters on September 24.
As Taiwanese media reported, on Monday a team of the Banqiao Precinct of New Taipei City Police Department searched the house of a 26-year-old man surnamed Fang. He and five other people were detained on suspicion of being members of a criminal syndicate and on various charges, including assault, engaging in protection racket and drug trafficking. Fang is believed to be the underboss of a local division of the Bamboo Gang, one of Taiwan’s most notorious triads.
According to the police, in June 2016 Fang ordered his subordinates to damage the car of a man with whom he had had an altercation. Following the incident the police detained one of Fang’s underlings. Fang then demanded the victim pay NT$200,000 in compensation, and threatened to harm him if he refused to do so.
Fang also incited people to sell drugs. He reportedly pressured a drug-addict to sell drugs to repay his debt, but he refused, saying that the drugs he had purchased weren’t enough for him. Fang’s men threatened and later kidnapped him. He was held captive and tortured with stun guns, clubs and metal cudgels. One of Fang’s subordinates even drew out a pistol and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t give them money.
The police also arrested Fang’s wife, a 30-year-old woman surnamed Ma and a webshow host known by her pseudonym ‘Angelababy’. However, she was detained for a separate crime that she committed months ago.
At the end of last year Angelababy, being short of cash, stole the ID card, driver’s licence and phone of a friend who was sleeping at her place. She then went to a telecom store and subscribed to a mobile service plan using her friend’s identity and billing address. She thus obtained an iPhone 7plus worth NT$32800, which she later resold for NT$29000.
The next day her friend found out that her ID card and driver’s licence were missing. Moreover, she received an sms notification from the telecom company regarding the contract. She went to the store and told the staff that she had not made a subscription. After having been shown CCTV footage she realized that Angelababy had bought a phone using her identity.
She called Angelababy but she denied the accusations. Only after her friend had reported the case to the police did Angelababy confess to the crime. She explained that she didn’t earn enough money with her job as a webhost, adding that after a failed marriage she had a kid to raise. Moreover, she had caught a cold and needed medicine.
Before the police raided Fang’s house, a court in Taipei had issued an arrest warrant for Angelababy.
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