Colombian men indicted for theft of NT$6 million from Taipei home

07/10/2020 10:59 PM
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CNA file photo of one of the Colombian suspects
CNA file photo of one of the Colombian suspects

Taipei, July 10 (CNA) Prosecutors have filed aggravated larceny charges against three Colombian men for allegedly robbing NT$6 million (US$203,361) from a home in Taipei, saying the charges will act as a deterrent against other potential foreign criminals coming to Taiwan.

The charges the suspects were indicted on carry prison sentences of between 6 months and five years and fines of up NT$500,000 under Article 321 of Taiwan's Criminal Code.

According to the indictment filed by the Shilin District Prosecutors Office on July 7, the men, surnamed Montenegro Molina, Quintero Montenegro and Suarez Pineros, came to Taiwan individually in March on the pretext of visiting family members or for tourism purposes.

They later received automatic visa extensions due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At around 1 p.m. on June 5, the men allegedly broke into a Neihu District residence and used cable cutters to open a safe and steal cash (NT$4.5 million, RMB370,000 and US$8,000) as well as jewelry and other personal belongings worth a total of NT$6 million.

Using surveillance camera footage, Taipei City police tracked the men to three separate hotels in Kaohsiung. They then arrested the men on June 8 and discovered the stolen cash and goods divided between them in their suitcases.

The men admitted to the burglary, said prosecutors, who indicated they possessed additional evidence, including roadside surveillance camera footage and fingerprint and DNA tests from the scene of the crime.

(By Hsiao Po-wen and Matthew Mazzetta)

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