Tuesday August 26, 2014 : DEADLY JOURNEY FOR GAMBLING ENTREPRENEUR
Was there a motive other than kidnapping and ransom in the murder of Taiwanese online and land gambling entrepreneur?
Taiwanese online and land gambling entrepreneur Shih Chia-chin would have had no idea that he was taking his last car ride when he was picked up from the northern airport of Taoyuan on Aug.18 by his chauffeur, Hsieh Yuan-hsin.
A few hours later his company accountant was contacted with a ransom demand of Tw$50 million ($1.7 million), and a week later Shih's body was found in a ditch in a remote area of the southern city of Tainan.
The incident has set tongues wagging on Taiwan, where Shih was well known as a very wealthy and successful businessman despite a conviction some time ago on illegal internet gambling ring charges, and a previously unsuccessful attempt to kidnap him four years ago.
Reporting on the disappearance and death of the businessman, the Agence France Presse news agency claims that Shih's family tried to negotiate with the mystery kidnappers who had called his accountant, and subsequently wired Tw$30 million to three designated bank accounts, alerting police in the central city of Tanchung.
When Shih's chauffeur tried to access the ransom funds he encountered ID difficulties and fled, catching a flight to Thailand on a false passport and evading a court order taken out by prosecutors to stop him leaving Taiwan.
Police investigating the kidnap and murder believe that at least two other people were involved with Hsieh, who had no criminal record, and there is a suspicion that a mastermind might be behind the murder with a different motivation than ransom.
The AFP report did not indicate how Shih was killed.