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Taiwan Gangster’s Son Killed

April 12, 1998 GMT

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ The eldest son of one of Taiwan’s most powerful crime bosses was killed Sunday morning by a member of a rival gang, police said, setting off fears of a mob war.

Chang Chien-ho, son of reputed Bamboo League boss Chang An-lo, was stabbed to death by a member of the Four Seas gang following a confrontation in an elevator after both men had been drinking, police said.

The murdered man was the son of Chang and his first wife, and had been managing the family’s businesses in his father’s absence.

Hsieh Lien-fu, 26, was arrested when he sought treatment for light wounds suffered in a fist fight which preceded the stabbing, police said. Authorities were looking for three other Four Seas members also involved in the killing.

The TVBS television network quoted unidentified police officials saying they feared the incident could spark a war between the gangs.

Chang An-lo, also known by his nickname ``White Wolf,″ told the network that he was still collecting information about the killing, but would not directly answer questions about possible retribution.

Chang gave the interview over the telephone from an undisclosed location in China where he is believed to be hiding from an arrest warrant issued in Taiwan during a crackdown on organized crime last year.

The elder Chang was jailed for over ten years in the United States for narcotics dealing, and is widely considered to have been involved in the killing in the United States of a critic of former President Chiang Ching-kuo.

After his return to Taiwan from the United States, Chang became president of a construction and trading company, and maintains that he is nothing more than a private businessman.

The Bamboo League is one of Taiwan’s biggest gangs, established after World War II by the offspring of refugees from China. Police estimate Taiwan has tens of thousands of mobsters belonging to dozens of gangs, but the Four Seas and Bamboo League are considered the largest.