Mainland sailor gets life term in skipper’s murder


KAOHSIUNG–A mainland Chinese crewman working on a Taiwanese tuna boat was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for murdering his Taiwanese skipper in June this year.

In a ruling, the Kaohsiung District Court said Li Qiping, 38, a cook working aboard the Kaohsiung-registered Fushen No. 11, stabbed skipper Chen Cheng-hsing to death and threw his body overboard June 3 while the boat was operating on the high seas near Uruguay.

Chieh Chun-fu, chief engineer of the Fushen No. 11, phoned Chen’s wife in Kaohsiung after he discovered Chen’s disappearance and was told by Li and other crew members that the skipper had jumped into the sea himself.

Chen’s wife did not believe this version of events and alerted the government, prompting the Cabinet-level Coast Guard Administration (CGA) to send officials to Capetown, South Africa to investigate.

Based on evidence and investigation results provided by the CGA, the judges determined that Li was guilty of murdering Chen and handed down a life sentence plus a fine of NT$2 million (US$66,667).