The Taiwanese authorities have issued an arrest warrant against a couple in Singapore for allegedly dumping the body of a newborn girl in a food recycling bin in Taipei two years ago.
Ms Chen Ju-ping, a spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, told The Straits Times yesterday that the authorities have “enough objective evidence” to find the couple guilty.
They are suspected of homicide and disposal of the baby’s body, among other offences.
The woman had allegedly delivered a baby girl on Feb 26, 2019, while holidaying with her boyfriend in Taipei.
The baby’s body was said to have been dumped in the food waste bin of a restaurant in Ximending and taken to a recycling plant in Xindian, some 10km away.
It was found in a garbage bag hours later with the placenta and umbilical cord still intact by a recycling company employee.
Taiwanese authorities reviewed footage from more than 100 closed-circuit television cameras and checked immigration records, which led them to the couple.
They learnt that the couple had checked out of a hotel the same afternoon and flown back to Singapore. Pieces of placenta were found in the bathroom drainage pipe of their hotel room.
A forensic test conducted in Taiwan that year concluded that the baby had been alive at birth.
Ms Chen noted that the couple can be arrested only if they enter Taiwan.
Lawyer Thong Chee Kun of Rajah & Tann said Singapore does not have an extradition treaty or arrangement with Taiwan.
“However, Taiwanese authorities could request for assistance from the Singapore police in obtaining evidence or conveying the couple to Taiwan if they consent to going there.
“It all depends on the facts… If there was a conspiracy hatched here to plan the crime, Singapore might have jurisdiction over the case,” said Mr Thong.
In Taiwan, those found guilty of homicide will be sentenced to death, or life imprisonment, or a jail term of up to 10 years. A mother who kills her newborn may be jailed between six months and five years.
According to Taiwanese law, suspects have to be present for their case to proceed after a warrant is issued for their arrest.
ST has contacted the Singapore police to check if the Taiwanese authorities have requested for help.
When contacted two years ago, the couple denied their involvement in the case.
The woman said then that she was not pregnant and would not have been able to board the flight to Taiwan if she had been, while the man said he did not leave the hotel to throw the plastic bag away at the time.
The woman, now 26, and her boyfriend, now 25, have kept a low profile since the incident, but the man announced on social media on Oct 24 last year that they had gotten engaged.
When ST visited the woman’s registered address on Tuesday, a man who looked to be in his 50s declined to speak to the media.
No one answered the door at the male suspect’s registered address.
Neighbours said it had been a “long time” since they saw him, but they saw his father at the unit sometime before Chinese New Year.