Suitcase murder: Taiwan police issue arrest warrant seeking suspect's extradition from Hong Kong

The Shilin Prosecutors Office has requested the Ministry of Justice refer the case to the Mainland Affairs Council to seek a special arrangement with the Hong Kong authorities

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Chan Tung-kai in HK police custody (left), Chan and Poon (right) (HK police photo/ Facebook photo)

Chan Tung-kai in HK police custody (left), Chan and Poon (right) (HK police photo/ Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Nearly ten months after the murder of a young girl from Hong Kong by her boyfriend while both were on holiday in Taiwan, the Shilin District Prosecutors Office in Taipei has formally issued an arrest warrant for the suspected murderer.

The 19 year old suspect, Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), is currently in Hong Kong where he has been held on charges of property theft for most of 2018. Police in Taiwan have asked the Ministry of Justice to coordinate with the Mainland Affairs Council, to contact Hong Kong authorities and arrange for Chan’s extradition.

Chan fled back to Taiwan after the murder of 20 year old Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎), who he allegedly strangled to death before stuffing her body into a suitcase and abandoning it in a field not far from the Zhuwei MRT Station.

To celebrate Valentine's Day together, Chan Tung-kai and Poon Hiu-wing traveled to Taiwan on Feb. 8 and had originally booked a return ticket on Feb. 17. The couple stayed at the Purple Garden Hotel on Nanjing West Road in Taipei's Datong District.

On Feb. 17 Chan left the hotel early in the morning struggling with a large pink suitcase. Later that day, he went to Taipei Taoyuan International airport without the suitcase and took the return flight back to Hong Kong alone.

Poon was reported missing several days later by her parents in Hong Kong. Local authorities arrested Chan on charges of theft and handling stolen goods belonging to Poon.

Taiwanese police were then alerted to the case and discovered her body in the suitcase on March 13.

During interrogation, Chan reportedly confessed to the murder and gave details about where he left body. It was later reported that Chan attacked Poon because he suspected she was pregnant with another man's child.

In the aftermath of the crime, concerns have been raised about the difficulty law enforcement faces in bringing Chan to trial for the murder.

Taiwanese police reportedly sent a request to Hong Kong police for assistance with the case in May, but have not received any response over the past six months.

Hong Kong police have been holding Chan since March 14 on charges relating to using Poon’s ATM card to withdraw money, and being in possession of her camera and other items. In August, those charges were reportedly amended to include money laundering and additional theft charges, according to EJinsight.

Since there is no formal extradition agreement between Hong Kong and Taiwan, a special arrangement must be made to somehow return Chan to Taiwan’s legal jurisdiction.

A trial in Hong Kong for a charge of murder would prove difficult without any physical evidence of the crime being presented to the court.

The Taiwanese police hope the extradition request will be granted given the gravity of the crime, and the fact that the victim’s parents in Hong Kong are appealing to the authorities to seek justice for their daughter.

Under the charges which the Shilin Prosecutors hope to convict Chan, he would be facing a possible prison sentence of approximately 37 years, reports Hong Kong Economic Journal.