Thu, 25 Feb 2021

Taipei [Taiwan], January 31 (ANI): A Taiwan court has sentenced a Chinese national to 26 years of imprisonment after he was found guilty of ordering the killing of four pirates at sea in 2012 while serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel.

Wang Fangyu, a 43-year-old Chinese national, was convicted of homicide and for breaching the controlling guns knives and ammunition acts, Taiwan news reported citing Kaohsiung District Court.

The horrific incident took place onboard the Kaohsiung-registered longliner Ping Shin No. 101 in September 2012. It came to light in 2014 when a 10-minute video clip of the fatal shootings was circulated on the internet. On Friday, the district court ruled that the killing of the unarmed men showed that he clearly had no respect for human life.

Wang had asked two Pakistani mercenaries he hired as the acting captain of the Ping Shin to fire at and kill four suspected Somali pirates that day, the court said.

Wang, a Zhejiang-native, was hired by a Kaohsiung company to serve as acting captain of the Taiwan fishing vessel in 2011.

Prosecutors did not name the Taiwan company or its owner and the court's sentencing documents also did not provide such information. However, CNA and other Taiwanese media have learned the company that hired the captain is Ping Shin Fishery Co Ltd.

On September 29, 2012, the Ping Shin was operating in the Indian Ocean about 595 kilometres southeast of the Somali capital of Mogadishu when it, along with the Kaohsiung-registered Chun I No. 217 and two other unidentified fishing boats, were fired on by a ship with four pirates.

After the ships were fired on, one of them decided to ram into the pirate ship, which caused it to overturn and sent the four pirates into the ocean. Despite knowing the pirates had no way to fight back, Wang instructed the two mercenaries to shoot and kill the four men in the water.

In August 2014, the phone used to film the murders was found in a taxi in Fiji. An anonymous person, perhaps the finder, discovered the video and posted it on YouTube.

In the video, a man believed to be the captain is heard giving directions in Mandarin with a mainland Chinese accent over a loudspeaker to the crew as 40 rounds of live ammunition are fired. The four unarmed men in the water are shot to death one by one, with the video showing the water turning red around them. No images of the shooters are seen.

Although Wang is a Chinese national and the crime occurred in the Indian Ocean, Taiwanese prosecutors were able to prosecute him because the shootings originated on a Taiwanese vessel. (ANI)

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