"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Writer of letters threatening Chen Shui-bian and others is caught

Bluer than blue, badder than bad

Wednesday's Liberty Times (自由時報) had a headline story which their sister paper, the Taipei Times somehow missed [following translations by Tim Maddog]:
恐嚇總統、官員、立委、主播 前調查員落網

Former investigator who threatened the president, public officials, legislators, and commentators caught in dragnet


(Reporters Huang Tun-yan, Chiu Yan-ling, Yang Kuo-wen [spelling of all names guessed phonetically] / Taipei) Last week, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) received threats in a "New Year greeting card" telling him to beware of two bullets, that his daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) would be raped, and that his grandson Chao Yi-an (趙翊安) would be kidnapped. Yesterday [Tuesday], police in Taipei County's Chungho City arrested former investigator Yang Ching-hai (楊清海), based upon his handwriting and the batch numbers on the bullets. Beginning in November of 2005, the suspect mailed bullets as a threat to then-premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), signing his letter at "Secretary-General of the Black Collective." He also sent threatening letters to other elected representatives, officials, commentators, and others, and so far, he is suspected of involvement in at least 30 cases.
30 cases! It's about time they caught this guy.

What comes around goes around
The words "Black Collective" (黑合會) mentioned above are a variation of the word "triad" (三合會), with the word for "three" replaced with the Mandarin word for "black," representing here the underworld of criminal gangs, the Mafia, etc. I found one article in the Taipei Times which refers to this "group" simply as the "Heiho Association." The connection there is that the writer of the threatening letters containing bullets said that the recipients would end up like Taipei County councilor Wu Shan-jeou (吳善九) of the People First Party (PFP), who was shot dead in his office on May 23, 2007. According to the aforementioned article, "Wu had also received a threatening letter containing a bullet."

According to information I've heard elsewhere, Yang is suspected of having mailed bullets to some people -- such as Talking Show (大話新聞) host Cheng Hung-yi (鄭弘儀) -- because they were "pro Taiwan independence," and of mailing bullets to people like former legislator Li Ao (李敖) because they were "too weak." Does this make him "neither blue nor green"? Perhaps he'd be better described as "bluer than blue."

A look at his past
A search of the Taipei Times for Yang's name brings up this single news item from 1999:
Playing secretly recorded tapes through loud speakers and making accusations in front of a curious crowd, a Buddhist nun who claimed to have been raped by a respected elderly monk yesterday turned what was supposed to be a solemn religious ceremony into a fiasco, with loudspeakers playing what can only be regarded as decidedly secular content.

The monk, known as Master Juhsu (如虛), had planned to preside at a ceremony at a Taipei monastery yesterday, but failed to show up to avoid "disturbances."

In the absence of the master, Miaowen (妙文) -- the nun making the accusations -- demanded that Juhsu take off his cassock and apologize to her for what she said was his alleged sexual offenses against her. Miaowen has filed charges of rape against Juhsu, who was her master 12 years ago at a Buddhist temple in Taichung, central Taiwan.

The 40-year-old nun claimed to have spoken to four other nuns who said they had been sexually assaulted by the same man.

Miaowen and dozens of her sympathizers, before hearing of his decision to stay away, had expected to confront Juhsu during the hand-over ceremony, and brought with them loud speakers and banners.


Miaowen's spokesman, Yang Ching-hai (楊清海), a former agent of the Investigation Bureau, said he had checked the authenticity of the tapes before he promised to help Miaowen, after hearing suggestions that they had been tampered with.

Yang admitted that Miaowen had planned what she wanted from the conversation, prior to the call with Juhsu, which she recorded without him knowing it.

"According to my own judgement on the basis of evidence provided by Miaowen, I think she is telling the truth," Yang said.
Very disturbing. I hope to learn much more about this Yang character in the very near future.

UPDATE: The suspect and his girlfriend have both been released on NT$100,000 bail. WTF?! Keep your eyes open for another "fled to China" story real soon.

Pieces of the puzzle: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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