SINGAPORE - The Taiwanese authorities have issued an arrest warrant against a couple in Singapore for allegedly dumping the body of a newborn baby girl in a food recycling bin in Taipei two years ago.
Ms Chen Ju-ping, a spokesman for the Taipei district prosecutor's office, told The Straits Times on Wednesday (Feb 17) 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 is said to have been dumped in a food waste bin of a restaurant in Ximending and was inadvertently transported by a garbage truck to a recycling plant in Xindian, some 10km away.
The body was found in a garbage bag hours later with the placenta and umbilical cord still intact by a recycling company employee.
The 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 the hotel the same afternoon and flew back to Singapore.
Pieces of placenta were also found in the bathroom pipe of the hotel room where the couple stayed.
A forensic test conducted in Taiwan in 2019 concluded that the baby had been alive at birth.
Ms Chen noted that the couple can only be arrested if they enter Taiwan.
Lawyer Thong Chee Kun from 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 Force to check if the Taiwanese authorities have asked for assistance.
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 stayed out of the public eye since the incident, but the man announced on social media on Oct 24 last year that they had got 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 has been a "long time" since they saw him, but said they saw his father in the unit some time before Chinese New Year.