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Live streamer, companions face heavy fines for sneaking into fire-damaged central Taiwan hotel

Each alleged trespasser faces at least NT$63,000 in fines in addition to trespassing charge

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Live streamer, companions face heavy fines for sneaking into fire-damaged central Taiwan hotel

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Five men are facing heavy fines after they snuck into a former Changhua County quarantine hotel where a fire late last month had killed four people and injured 21.

After the June 30 fire, police cordoned off the 15-story Chiaoyu Building. However, a live streamer intruded on the site along with four others to broadcast from inside the building Tuesday (July 6) just after midnight, CNA reported.

After reviewing surveillance camera footage, the Changhua Precinct summoned five men aged 23 to 41 to the police station for questioning.

One of the suspects, surnamed Shen (沈), told police that visiting deserted old buildings at night was the group's hobby and that they had not given it much thought as they walked up to the sixth floor, according to CNA.

The precinct said Tuesday that considering the ongoing Level 3 pandemic alert, the indoor gathering of five people was in breach of the Communicable Disease Control Act. The police gave each of them a ticket, and the county government will hand out the fines, which could range from NT$60,000 (US$2,069) to NT$300,000 each.

The owner of the building has also sued all five for trespassing. The police said they had referred the men to the local prosecutors’ office on suspicion of violating the trespassing clause of the Criminal Code, per CNA.

In addition, as the building was the scene of a fire investigation, the five men face fines from the county’s fire bureau for compromising the integrity of the site, which is punishable by a fine of NT$3,000 to NT$15,000, as stipulated by the Fire Services Act, according to CNA.