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Two suspects held incommunicado over Taoyuan hostage-taking

2019/06/14 21:43:59

Taipei, June 14 (CNA) Two suspects have been detained and held incommunicado after they took nine people hostage at a used car dealership in Taoyuan two days ago, prosecutors said Friday.

The incident took place Wednesday evening at 5:50 p.m. when two men armed with rifles and handguns charged into the used car dealership in the city's Sanmin Road and took nine employees hostage.

Police immediately rushed to the scene, accompanied by hostage negotiators, upon receiving reports of the situation.

The negotiators were able to persuade the two gunmen to release two of the nine hostages at around 7 p.m., followed by another three at 10:30 p.m.

The remaining hostages were subsequently freed when the two suspects, both surnamed Lin (林), surrendered at close to midnight. No one was injured in the incident.

According to various media reports, the hostage-takers are allegedly members of a local organized crime gang and were embroiled in a financial dispute with the car dealership.

On Friday, prosecutors said the suspects have been charged with violating the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act, and if found guilty, will be subject to prison terms of not less than five years.

Also that day, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who attended a ceremony in Taipei to recognize the work of police officers ahead of Saturday's Police Day, praised the professionalism of Taiwan's police, especially those that helped resolve the hostage situation in Taoyuan that ended without any casualties.

In her speech, Tsai said the government promises to do more to help improve the livelihoods of the nation's law enforcement officers, including better benefits, housing and equipment.

(By Chiu Chun-chin and Ko Lin)
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