Two detained in Kaohsiung bomb case

Police yesterday detained two suspects for questioning in relation to a letter bomb explosion in Kaohsiung that severely injured an interior design company owner surnamed Feng (馮), with preliminary investigations indicating that it was likely because of a financial dispute.

A woman surnamed Chung (鍾), 42, and a man surnamed Tai (戴), 62, were detained and later listed as suspects after raids in Pingtung and New Taipei City.

After being transferred to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning, Chung is facing attempted murder and related charges.

A bail court judge granted prosecutors’ their request to detain Chung on restricted communication, while Tai was taken to Kaohsiung for questioning last night.

The explosion occurred at about noon on Wednesday, after a package addressed to Feng, 53, was delivered to the front door of his interior design company in Kaohsiung’s Gushan District (鼓山).

Residents said they heard a loud sound, then saw smoke and ashes drift from the building. Firefighters and medics arrived at the scene and Feng was taken to hospital for emergency treatment.

He was still in a critical condition as of press time last night.

Company employees said that the package exploded when Feng tried to open it, resulting in burns to about 60 percent of his body and injuries to his face, chest, hands and lower limbs.

Kaohsiung police and the Criminal Investigation Bureau formed a task force to investigate the case, which allegedly stems from a financial dispute, Gushan Police Precinct criminal investigations head Chang Ming-chang (張明彰) said.

“To run his business, Feng from 2013 to 2016 continually borrowed money totaling about NT$10 million [US$320,873] from Chung. Over the past few years, Chung demanded repayment,” Chang said.

For the attack, Chung allegedly enlisted the help of her friend, Tai, police said, citing surveillance footage that shows Chung driving a white sedan to an area near the interior design company, then Tai emerging from the vehicle with a package, walking to the company and putting the package down at the front door.

During questioning, Tai said that Chung told him to deliver the package, but he had no idea what was inside it.

Chung also denied playing a role, saying that Tai told her that the package was a practical joke and would surprise Feng when he opened it.

Police uncovered NT$1 million in cash at Tai’s home, Chang said, adding that investigators suspect the money is connected to the case.