Chinese national instigated feces attack on Taipei restaurant: prosecutors

11/09/2020 06:01 PM
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Mo Fan (right). CNA file photo
Mo Fan (right). CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) Four suspects involved in the splattering of a Taipei restaurant kitchen with chicken feces last month were hired by an unknown Chinese national, prosecutors said Monday, announcing the indictment of the four people.

The attack on the Aegis restaurant, which offers employment to Hong Kong political refugees in Taiwan, occurred on Oct. 16, when a man allegedly splashed the kitchen equipment and a female staffer with chicken feces.

The restaurant has been closed since and is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 11.

The four suspects -- Mo Fan (莫凡) and Chiang Chi-jung (江啟榮), both 25 years old, and brothers Li Chao-ching (李昭慶) and Li Chao-hsin (李昭信), 26 and 24, respectively -- were arrested last month and are currently being held incommunicado, according to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

The four men are all Taiwanese, who were hired indirectly by an unidentified Chinese national to carry out the attack, prosecutors said Monday.

In a bid to shut down the restaurant, the Chinese national contacted a Taiwanese man surnamed Chen (陳), who lives in China, to help find people to carry out the attack, prosecutors said.

Chen then messaged Li Chao-hsin via social media in September and paid him NT$30,000 (US$1,042) by wire transfer to do the advance work, according to prosecutors.

Li recruited three other people, and they made several visits to the restaurant, including one on Oct. 15, to finalize their plan, prosecutors said. A bucket of chicken feces, feathers, and bones was obtained in Sanchong, New Taipei by the Li brothers, who gave it to Mo, according to prosecutors.

On Oct. 16, the Li brothers and Chiang went to the Aegis in a friend's car, and one of them stayed outside to keep a look-out, while the others went in to eat, prosecutors said.

Mo arrived at the restaurant at noon, tossed the bucket of chicken feces over the cashier's counter and into the kitchen, and then ran off, while the look-out person recorded a video of the incident on his phone, prosecutors said.

The restaurant Aegis, after it was vandalized. CNA file photo Oct. 16, 2020
The restaurant Aegis, after it was vandalized. CNA file photo Oct. 16, 2020

The video was then sent to Chen, who wired another NT$30,000 to Li Chao-hsin's account, and half of the money was transferred to Mo, according to prosecutors.

On Monday, prosecutors indicted the four suspects on charges of intimidation, property damage, public insult and physical injury and said the men's actions had caused significant harm and fear among Hong Kongers who have fled to Taiwan for fear of political persecution.

During questioning, the four suspects confessed to the crime and expressed remorse, prosecutors said, adding that they will ask the judge to hand down appropriate sentences.

As for the Taiwanese man surnamed Chen and the unknown Chinese national who instigated the befouling of the restaurant, prosecutors said police are still trying to find them.

The Aegis was opened on April 19 by Daniel Wong Kwok-tung (黃國桐), a Hong Kong lawyer and politician who provided free legal services to demonstrators arrested during the 2019 Hong Kong protests.

The protests were triggered by a potential Chinese extradition bill, which would have allowed crime suspects arrested in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to be sent to China for trial. The bill was later withdrawn by the Hong Kong government.

(By Lin Chang-shun and Chiang Yi-ching)

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