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Criminal Investigation Bureau, National Police Agency


News Releases

Publish Date:2023-07-20

Update Date:2024-05-02

Units:Criminal Information Division

Press Release from the Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior(112-06-20)
Interdepartmental cooperation Vietnamese Crew Member Arrested For Murder News Data
  1. Investigating unit: Taiwan Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office, Taipei Liaison Office in the Republic of South Africa, Fisheries Agency of the Council of Agriculture, Kaohsiung City Police Department Gushan Precinct, CIB International Criminal Affairs Division; and the 5th Offshore Flotilla, Fleet Branch, Coast Guard Administration, Ocean Affairs Council.
  2. Time: June 14, 2023
  3. Location: Cijin Pier, Kaohsiung Harbor
  4. Suspect: 1 (Surname: Chen) Vietnamese crew member
  5. Evidence: 1 knife, clothing worn during the murder, mobile phone, navigation log, and other relevant items.
  6. Case summary:
    1. the Kaohsiung-registered ocean fishing vessel Feng Kuo No.616, encountered a bloody incident when operating in the Indian Ocean’s international waters approximately 674 nautical miles southeast of Cape Town, South Africa, on April 28, 2023. In the accident, an Indonesian crew member was brutally murdered by a Vietnamese crew member. Upon receiving the report, the Fisheries Agency of the Council of Agriculture immediately held an interdepartmental meeting to resolve the matter. First, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) escorted the fishing vessel back to Taiwan. Following, with the cooperation with CIB International Criminal Affairs Division and the Kaohsiung City Police Department Gushan Precinct, they arrested the Vietnamese crew member, who had been locked in a cabin onboard the vessel.
    2. Although the incident occurred in international waters, this Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel and all vessels and aircraft that belong to Taiwan are regarded as a part of an extension of our national territory As such, Taiwan possesses the jurisdiction and right to adjudicate this homicide case. In the aftermath of the crime, the CIB, CGA, and Kaohsiung City Police Department formed a joint task force and reported the case to Prosecutor Li You-zi of the Taiwan Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office to command the investigation.
    3. The Indonesian crew member was sorting out fish in the freezer when he was suddenly attacked by a Vietnamese crew member. The motives behind the attack remain unclear and require further investigation. When the captain of the vessel witnessed the Vietnamese suspect committing the crime and attempting to hide in the cargo hold, he immediately locked the compartment door. The captain then set course for Mauritius to seek assistance. However, the Mauritius authorities deemed the incident to have occurred in international waters and only agreed to let the vessel dock in Port Louis,  providing only humanitarian assistance to the crew members but refused to investigate the case. The Liaison Officer stationed at the Taipei Liaison Office in the Republic of South Africa rushed to Mauritius upon being notified and and, with their consent, conducted preliminary investigations on board the vessel, consolidating relevant evidence. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese crew member refused to turn over the knife used in the murder. To ensure that investigations could proceed, the fishing vessel departed on its near month-long journey back to Taiwan on May 16. The shipping vessel was escorted by Wei-shin (CG102) and PP-10075 as it approached nearby waters and docked in at the 5th Offshore Flotilla’s wharf on June 14, where the joint task force boarded and arrested the Vietnamese crew member. In addition, forensics specialists from CIB also boarded the ship to collect trace evidence in an effort to reconstruct the crime scene. After further investigations by the prosecutor, the suspect was charged with a serious murder offense, and a detention request was granted by the court.
    4. This case is an exemplary demonstration of cross-departmental cooperation, successfully safeguarding the fishing vessel's return to Taiwan and bringing the Vietnamese murder suspect to justice. Crimes committed within the jurisdiction of Taiwan will be thoroughly investigated, regardless of nationality. This case reaffirms the determination and commitment of law enforcement agencies in Taiwan to fighting crime and safeguarding maritime safety.