Police raid chop shop, arrest suspected leader


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Chiayi City police raided an illegal auto dismantling factory in Madou Township, Tainan County, yesterday and arrested a man who is suspected of heading a vehicle theft ring.

The police also arrested seven other suspects and seized five stolen automobiles, 18 airbags, a cargo container loaded with vehicle parts, a forklift and tools for dismantling work.

The suspected ringleader, identified only by his surname Chen, has a long crime record, according to police from Chiayi County which adjoins Tainan.

Chen had been running a legal auto dismantling factory for 20 years but was suspected of using it as a cover for illegal practices, the police said. He had been arrested seven times in the last two decades on charges of handling stolen property, the police said.

It took more than four months for the police to collect enough evidence to indicate that Chen and his accomplices were dismantling stolen vehicles at the factory and selling the parts and components abroad, the police said.