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Poison suspect admits extortion
CHINA LINK: A distraught Wang Chin-chan allegedly confessed to police after he was shown a photo of the man who died after drinking a laced beverage
By Rich Chang
STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA
Saturday, May 28, 2005,Page 2
Advertising Police yesterday said that suspected energy-drink poisoner Wang Chin-chan (王進展) admitted to lacing Bullwild (蠻牛) and Paolyta B (保力達B) drinks with cyanide as part of a failed attempt to extort money from their manufacturer.
"Wang was cunning and denied that he committed the crime after police detained him at noon on Thursday. But at about midnight, when I showed him a picture of Chou Yi-kuei (周乙桂) [who died after drinking Bullwild], Wang was shocked. He suddenly kneeled down, cried and said, `I did the wrong thing,'" Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) commissioner Hou You-yi (侯友宜) told reporters.
Hou said he then asked Wang, "How and where did you get the cyanide?"
Wang replied that he obtained it from China. He said a Chinese national, Zhang Chi (章池), gave him 300g of cyanide after bringing the poison into the country in hundreds of capsules.
Wang told police he had more than NT$1 million (US$32,000) in debts. His plan had been to poison the drinks and demand money from the manufacturer.
Police said Wang claimed to have had no intention of killing anybody, and so made stickers reading "I am poisonous, don't drink" and placed them on the bottles.
Wang allegedly told police that after Chou had died and police released security footage of Wang in various convenience stores, he became afraid and abandoned the plan to extort money from the company.
Police yesterday found a draft e-mail on Wang's computer at his residence in Taipei County.
The e-mail demanded that Paolyta Co pay him NT$10,000,000 (US$320,000), but the e-mail had not been sent.
Wang allegedly told police he had also planned to make threatening calls from China in which he would direct the beverage company to deposit money in a China-based account.
Police added that Wang committed the crime on May 17.
He left for China on May 19 before returning to Taiwan last Tuesday.
After searching Wang's home, police also found hats, dark glasses and pants similar to those he apparently wore in the security tapes.
Police yesterday morning paraded Wang before reporters outside Taichung police station before escorting him to the prosecutor's office.
Wang kneeled down and cried, saying, "I am very sorry for the wrong thing I did to the victims and the public. But now it's too late to be regretful."
Police said Wang robbed a bank at CKS International Airport in 1993. He stole more than NT$5 million, but was arrested eight days later.
Wang was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and was paroled in 2003.
Police said that Wang had lied about the existence of an accomplice in the robbery, and they were therefore examining whether "Zhang Chi" really existed or had any part to play in importing cyanide.
Meanwhile, the Mainland Affairs Council called on the Chinese authorities to help the government investigate the possibility that a Chinese accomplice was involved.
Council Vice Chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said that as soon as the Criminal Investigation Bureau finishes its investigation, the council will ask the Straits Exchange Foundation to contact its counterpart in Beijing, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, in relation to the matter.