Former top-10 fugitive dies in Taiwan hospital

Gangster was serving life sentence for bank robberies and kidnapping, once fled to China

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Hsueh Chiu (center).

Hsueh Chiu (center). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former top-10 fugitive bank robber and kidnapper Hsueh Chiu (薛球) died at a Tainan hospital Saturday (August 17) after serving 14 years of his life sentence.

Details of the disease the 53-year-old died of were not made public by the Tainan Penitentiary, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

The Hsinchu County native had already served time after he became involved in a shootout with police at a KTV in Miaoli County in 2001. He was released because he admitted, just months later, he and an associate had abducted a former deputy speaker of the Taichung City Council.

Instead of the NT$300 million (US$9.57 million) they had demanded, they received NT$30 million and fled to China.

They allied themselves with another Taiwanese fugitive and were apparently active in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong while also trying to extort money from a prominent Taiwanese media personality.

By that time, the authorities had put Hsueh on its list of the 10 most wanted fugitives. In July 2004, he was arrested by Chinese public security and handed over to Taiwan via the offshore island of Matsu.

While serving his life sentence in Tainan, Hsueh did not cause any trouble and received regular visits from his daughter. Recently he had to frequently visit the hospital, CNA reported.