Photo: United Daily News
An off-duty police officer hiking in New Taipei City’s Linkou District stumbled across a pigeon-napping operation October 27, after becoming lost on his way home. The officer remained to observe the site after calling colleagues.
In what may be a crime unique to Taiwan, pigeon-nappers use their knowledge of terrain and racing pigeon routes, to set up nets and capture valuable racing birds. After netting the birds, they call the phone number recorded on the bird’s leg-ring and charge owners a ransom of between NTD$1000 and NTD$10,000 (USD$30-300).
A 61 year-old pigeon-napper, surnamed Gao, was arrested after being found in possession of 11 racing birds.
The birds were from Hsinchu and Miaoli Counties, and had been released from Cape Fukui, the northernmost point of the island. Currently it is training season for racing pigeons. The haul of pigeons included valuable racing birds that had won up to NTD$1 million (USD$31,600).