Taiwan bomb scare suspects extradited from China

Taipei (The China Post/ANN) - Two suspects in a twin bomb scare in Taiwan, Hu Tsung-hsien and Chu Ya-tung, were extradited back to the country from China yesterday afternoon, according to the Taiwanese Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

The police are now investigating the two's motives and whether or not they had any accomplices, the bureau said.

According to officials, Hu is a lawyer who runs a firm in Taichung, and Chu is a taxi driver.

General-director of the National Police Agency Wang Cho-chiun said this is the first time that Taiwan and mainland China police have jointly tracked down and arrested suspects in such an efficient manner and within a short period of time.

Wang said that after suitcases containing explosive devices and materials were discovered in a northbound high-speed train and at a legislator's office entrance on April 12, the CIB formed a special investigative team with New Taipei City and Taoyuan County police and criminal investigators.

On the same day, Wang said, the team found traces of Hu's DNA on one of the suitcases found on the train. He added that after confirming with the National Immigration Agency, they discovered Hu took an EVA Air flight in the afternoon to Macau.

Macau police later confirmed with the CIB that Hu already left Macau for mainland China's Zhuhai City in Guangdong province.

Wang said the investigative team found Chu's fingerprints on a silver Mitsubishi minivan, which two suspects used to transport the suitcases. Wang added that Chu left Taiwan on the same flight with Hu.

Both of them have prior criminal records, Wang said.

Two days after the incident, Guangdong province police tracked the two suspects to a hotel and arrested them, Wang said, adding that the CIB was immediately informed by Chinese authorities.

The investigative team members went to China on April 15 to discuss the extradition details with mainland police, Wang said.

The two suspects were escorted by investigative team members from China yesterday morning and arrived in the afternoon, Wang said.

Motive yet to be determined

Wang said that as the two suspects had just arrived in Taiwan, the motive behind the bombs was yet to be discovered. Wang said that according to mainland police, Chu had already confessed to having participated in at least some part of the attempted bombings.

Based on the preliminary evidence, Wang said, authorities believe that Hu made the explosive materials and devices, while Chu put the suitcases in the high-speed train and in front of the legislator's office.

So far, only two suspects have been pinpointed by the team, Wang said, adding that investigators are currently sorting through evidence.

Source of explosive materials

According to the CIB, the explosive devices and materials contained in the suitcases included clocks, 20 to 30 litres of gasoline, glass bottles of hydrochloric acid and sodium cyanide, which when treated with acid will create a toxic gas.

Officials said sodium cyanide is usually intended for industrial use and is restricted by the government, therefore they are investigating the source of the chemical in Central and Southern Taiwan.

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