Filipino man arrested for murder of two countrymen on Taiwanese fishing boat

Filipino suspect in brutal murder of two countrymen on Taiwanese fishing boat arrested 10 days after the deadly assault

Suspect (center).

Suspect (center). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Filipino chief officer of a Taiwan-registered fishing vessel allegedly involved in the fatal stabbing of two of his countrymen, was arrested 10 days after the deadly assault on Saturday (March 2), announced the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) that day.

The suspect, a Filipino fisherman, allegedly used a knife to assault two Filipino crew members of the Wen Peng (穩鵬號), a fishing boat registered in Pingdong County's Donggang Township on Feb. 20. The two Filipino men succumbed to their wounds, while several others were injured.

After arresting the suspect on Saturday night (March 2) and temporarily detaining him on a nearby fishing vessel, special agents yesterday took him to the detention room of "Hsun Hu No. 8" (巡護八號) for the journey back to Taiwan. He will be transferred to the Pingtung District Prosecutor's Office for investigation in 13 days, said the CGA said last night.

At 3 a.m. on Feb. 20, "A fight broke out when the chief officer hacked two of his crew to death in a disciplinary action dispute," according to the Taiwan Fisheries Agency (FA). Several crew members then reportedly jumped overboard to flee the attacker, six of whom remain missing.

The ship reportedly had a crew of 24 crew members, with 10 Filipinos, 11 Indonesians, and three Taiwanese. By Feb. 22, the remaining crew members had been rescued from the vessel, while the suspect held out on the ship in a standoff with authorities.

At 10:06 p.m. Saturday evening, special agents of the CGA successfully subdued the suspect and arrested him on charges of murder and robbery, according to a press release sent by the CGA last night. He was then detained on the forward deck of the "Hung Fu 88" (鴻福88號) fishing vessel under the supervision of special agents and FA personnel.

At about 11 a.m. yesterday morning, special agents of the CGA, FA, and the captain of the Wen Peng boarded the vessel, confirmed that it was still operational, and plotted a course to return to Taiwan to take part in the follow-up investigation.

At 6:27 p.m. last night, special agents transferred the suspect to the detention room onboard Hsun Hu No. 8. CGA officers will supervise the Hung Fu 88, "Chao Feng 227" (兆豐277號), and Wen Peng as they navigate back to Taiwan.

Two seriously injured Indonesian crew members arrived in Sri Lanka for medical treatment on Saturday, while the bodies of the two Philippine crew members are being temporarily stored in the freezer of the Wen Peng, before undergoing a thorough examination in Taiwan.

Hsun Hu No. 8 is expected to return to a CGA pier in Kaohsiung in 13 days, and the whole case will be handed over to the Pingtung District Prosecutor's Office for further investigation, according to the CGA.