TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A convicted felon was arrested on Monday (March 1) for skipping his quarantine to wander in and around Taipei Main Station for three days.
When Wu Pai-ting (吳柏霆), 45, arrived at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Feb. 27, he failed to comply with instructions from epidemic prevention personnel and did not take a special vehicle to his residence. Instead, he took a Kuo-Kuang Motor Transportation Co. bus to Taipei Main Station, where he wandered around for three days.
At around 6 p.m. on Monday, police found the man in an underground shopping area near Taipei Main Station, reported Liberty Times. Police said that they will coordinate with Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) staff on carrying out an investigation into his movements over the past three days.
In 2005, Wu was charged with stealing NT$35.5 million (US$1.2 million) from a security company in Kaohsiung. Police were able to recover NT$32.4 million of the stolen funds, but Wu was able to flee with NT$3 million to China via the Mini Three Links (小三通).
While in China, he was arrested and handed a 10-year prison sentence for taking part in a kidnapping and demanding ransom. After completing his prison sentence, he returned to Taiwan on Feb. 27. After passing through quarantine inspection at the airport, Wu failed to board an epidemic prevention bus to transport him to his officially registered residence in Kaohsiung.
Instead, he took a Kuo-Kuang bus to Taipei and got off at the east gate of Taipei Main Station. Over the next three days, most of Wu's activities were centered around the station, as well as National Taiwan University Hospital and the Taipei City Mall.
When Wu arrived in Taiwan, the staff of the epidemic prevention unit provided him with a mobile phone to maintain contact during his quarantine. However, he is alleged to have turned his phone off deliberately.
While moving through Taipei, he avoided using any methods of mass transit, choosing instead to walk. This made it more difficult for police to track him down.
Wu could face a fine of up to NT$1 million for violating the "Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens" (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例).