Cabbie ‘drugs, assaults’ Korean tourist

The China Post news staff

A local taxi driver was detained Sunday after admitting to drugging three South Korean tourists and sexually assaulting one of them. The driver, surnamed Chan (詹), told police he used a syringe to inject sleeping drugs into unopened yogurt drinks that he offered to three female tourists he picked up in Taipei’s Wanhua District Thursday afternoon. That evening, after taking the three to sightsee in New Taipei’s Ruifang District, Chan drove them to Shilin Night Market. During the ride, two of the women fell asleep while the third remained awake, police said. The taxi arrived at Shilin around 9 p.m. and the passenger who had remained awake visited the night market alone, they said. Chan then drove the two sleeping women to a secluded area near the night market before sexually assaulting one of them, police said. The women reportedly went to the police several days later, after first contacting the Korean Mission in Taipei by phone but being told: “Why did you call this number? This is for emergency use only.” The Korean Mission in Taipei serves as South Korea’s de facto embassy in the absence of official diplomatic ties — about the incident. Police spoke with the three victims, who were still in Taipei, on Saturday night.

After the incident was reported by local and South Korean media on Saturday, Chan handed himself in at a police station in Shilin District that evening, and was questioned by prosecutors shortly afterward. During questioning, Chan admitted to drugging the three women and sexually assaulting one of them, police said.

Prosecutors requested a court order to detain Chang after questioning him for the second time on Sunday morning. The request was granted by Taipei District Court on Sunday afternoon. The suspect was identified by some media as Chan Yu-ju (詹侑儒), a 41-year-old New Taipei City native.

Prosecutors said the suspect was married and had no previous convictions.

May Face 17 Years in Prison Chan could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of sexual assault. He could also be handed a separate seven-year sentence for drugging the women. Asked to comment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Eleanor Wang told The China Post the ministry was aware of the incident but would not disclose more details in order to protect the privacy of the victims. Lawmakers across party lines expressed anger over the case, urging maximum punishment.