Chiayi County Police Bureau, Beigang Road, Taibao City, Chiayi County, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps
Chiayi County Police Bureau, Beigang Road, Taibao City, Chiayi County, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A Taiwanese man and three migrant workers have been arrested by police on suspicion of killing an Indonesian migrant worker and dumping his body in a river in Chiayi, in southwestern Taiwan, last month.

China Times reports that at 5pm on September 28, an elderly farmer surnamed Wang discovered a male body in grass by the Bazhang River at I Hsing Village, Shuishang Town.

The Chiayi police could not verify the victim’s identity due to the absence of fingerprint and DNA records for foreign workers.

Officers then searched through over 500 closed-circuit television and security footage videos from the area. Following up various leads in the footage, they traced a vehicle to a Taiwanese man surnamed Chen. On October 17, they tracked him down along with three Indonesians who worked for him. Two were discovered to be runaway migrant workers, while the work visa of the third had expired.

The deceased was subsequently named as Samsul Karimullah, a 32-year-old Indonesian man who had entered Taiwan on a travel visa on September 19, arrived in Chiayi on September 22 and starting working with Chen and his posse on September 23.

The other workers say they found Karimullah dead later that evening after he had earlier fallen unwell due to suspected heat stroke. They told police that, in accordance with Indonesian ritual, they tied his hands and legs and covered him in a white cloth.

It is claimed that Chen, on learning what had happened, agreed to dump Karimullah’s body in the river after being informed this was also customary, because he feared being fined for hiring workers illegally if the police were alerted.

The four men were placed under arrest on suspicion of killing a Indonesian migrant worker and dumping his body. The results of further laboratory tests on the deceased are pending.

Read: Taiwan police probe possible murder of Indonesian worker