28 February 2021
London. UK. An update to the HRAS Press Release of 30 August 2020 concerning the 2012 footage of the murder of persons at sea off Somalia first identified through mobile phone footage in 2014.
On 29 January 2021, the Chinese-national Wang Fengyu (汪峰裕) was convicted by the Kaohsiung District Court in Taiwan (台灣高雄地方法院) for ordering his crew to shoot and kill four unarmed individuals off the Somali coast in September 2012. Wang was then the acting captain of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Ping Shin No. 101.
Wang Fengyu was convicted of four counts of homicide and for violating the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例). The Kaohsiung District Court sentenced Wang to 26 years imprisonment, subject to appeal. This is the latest development in a long eight-year wait for justice for the killing of the four men, allegedly pirates who were floating at sea when they were fired upon from Ping Shin No. 101.
Wang has been held in Taiwan since 22 August 2020, when the Seychelles-flagged ship he then captained, the Indian Star, docked at the Port of Kaohsiung. Wang was arrested by Taiwan authorities. At this time, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors had opened its own investigation into Wang’s involvement in the 2012 case of homicides at sea while serving as the acting captain of Ping Shin No. 101. Prosecutors in Kaohsiung had issued a warrant for Wang’s arrest in December 2018.
The killing of the four unnamed individuals was captured as a video footage on a mobile phone. The footage only came to light two years later, in 2014, when the phone was reportedly left in the back of a cab in Fiji and fortuitously found by a subsequent passenger, who then reported it to the police.
In August 2014, HRAS provided one of the first translations and analysis of the video footage. This video gained international notoriety when the former New York Times investigative journalist, Ian Urbina, wrote about the incident in ‘Murder at Sea: Captured on Video, but Killers Go Free,’ published on 20 July 2015.