TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Eight members of a crime syndicate have been arrested after the remains of a man and teenage girl were found in plastic barrels in western Taiwan.
Acting on a tip from a member of the crime ring, police on Nov. 18 discovered the decomposed bodies of a 54-year-old man surnamed Huang (黃) and a 16-year-old girl surnamed Tsai (蔡) inside plastic barrels. Tsai's remains were found in a Taichung residence, while Huang's were found in a mountainous area of Miaoli.
In both cases, little remained of the bodies other than a few small fragments of skin and bone, as they had been dissolved in acid.
On Friday (Nov. 20), police arrested the suspected ring leaders of the Taichung-based gang: Hsu Te-yi (徐德益), 34, and his 20-year-old wife, surnamed Chen (陳). Over the weekend, six other suspects were also detained.
Six of the eight suspects being investigated, including Hsu and Chen, were then transferred to the Taichung District Prosecutor's Office to be placed in detention. Police allege that Hsu and his accomplices stabbed Tsai to death with a pair of scissors and a knife in 2017 because Hsu believed that she owed him NT$3 million, reported CNA.
In 2019, Hsu and members of his gang allegedly kidnapped and beat Huang to death because he had testified against Hsu in a trial over a dispute over property worth NT$20 million. In both cases, the bodies were dissolved in a powerful acid and stuffed into plastic barrels, which in turn were filled with cement and concealed.
Tsai's body was initially hidden on a farm in a village in Changhua. However, when neighbors started to complain about a foul smell coming from the barrel, Hsu moved it to his family's old home in Taichung's Fengyuan District, reported UDN.
In 2008, Hsu was arrested for violating the Act Controlling Guns, Knives and Ammunition (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例) and handed a 10-year prison sentence. In 2015, he was released on parole, but he was arrested again in 2017 for drunk driving.
The court's verdict originally stated that Hsu's parole should be revoked and that he should be sentenced to life in prison. However, the judge felt that the sentence was not in compliance with the principle of proportionality and decided to hand him a much lighter sentence.
Location in Miaoli where Huang's remains were found. (Photo from member of the public)