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Former Tainan County council speaker nabbed in Philippines

2019/01/17 21:31:51

Wu Chien-pao (吳健保, left) / Photo courtesy of the Philippine National Police

Manila, Jan. 17 (CNA) Former Tainan County council speaker Wu Chien-pao (吳健保), who was convicted of professional baseball match fixing, has been arrested in the Philippines after fleeing Taiwan years ago, local police confirmed Thursday.

Wu, 69, was apprehended Wednesday by law enforcement agents of the two countries at a villa in Subic Bay, a member of the Philippine task force told CNA on condition of anonymity.

Wu is being held at the Bicutan detention center in Taguig City in Metro Manila, pending extradition to Taiwan, the officer said.

The arrest was carried out in a collaborative effort between law enforcement officers of the two countries, the source said, adding that Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau asked for assistance from their Philippine counterparts to capture the fugitive after receiving a tipoff about his whereabouts several months ago.

According to a Taiwan businessman based in the Subic Bay, Wu had been hiding in the area since late 2014 when a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to show up to serve his prison term in late September.

Wu kept a low profile while he was living in a Subic Bay factory owned by a friend after fleeing to the Philippines, the Taiwan businessman said. Wu seldom left the area and it was an open secret that he was in hiding there and sometimes visited local casinos, the businessman said.

The former politician escaped to the Philippines in 2014 after he was convicted of intimidation and fraud and sentenced to five years and five months in prison by the Taiwan High Court, which rejected his appeal.

Wu and several high-profile players were accused of involvement in match fixing in Taiwan's professional baseball games, after scandals arose following the end of the 2009 tournament in the professional baseball league in October that year.

In June 2011, the New Taipei District Court sentenced Wu and some players to prison terms ranging from 15 days to seven years and a total fine of more than NT$50 million (US$1.6 million).

In his appeal in the High Court, Wu was given a heavier sentence because of his bad attitude during the trial.

The verdict cannot be appealed.

(By Emerson Lin and Flor Wang)