National

Taiwan seeks assistance from Japan and Interpol in locating double-murder suspect

Kyodo

Taiwanese authorities said Thursday they are seeking the assistance of Interpol in locating an Iraqi man who this week fled with his 1-year-old son to Japan, where he works, after allegedly killing his Taiwanese parents-in-law.

Prosecutors issued a statement saying they sought an arrest warrant for Ali Hammad Jomaah and notified immigration authorities to arrest him should he re-enter Taiwan.

The state’s Criminal Investigation Bureau earlier confirmed that it has requested the assistance of Interpol through their Japanese counterparts to locate Jomaah, who left Taiwan on Tuesday morning on a flight to Japan.

Taiwan media reports said Jomaah, 31, initially flew to Taiwan on March 26 from Japan, where he works as an English teacher. The purpose of the trip was to meet with his Taiwanese wife, surnamed Hsiao, to discuss their pending divorce and custody problems.

Hsiao and her son came to Taiwan earlier this year with her parents, who had traveled to Japan to bring them back after learning of allegations of domestic violence.

Hsiao and her son had since then been staying with her parents, who were both in their 70s, in Taipei’s Shihlin District, the media reports said.

On Monday night, after a quarrel with his parents-in-law at their apartment, Jomaah allegedly strangled them and then left, taking his infant son with him, according to the reports. The parents had reportedly asked their daughter not to be present for her own safety.

Jomaah reportedly told his wife on Wednesday over social media that he had returned to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

However, police said they suspect Jomaah is still in Japan as he did not return to his residence in Ishikawa Prefecture, nor did the Japanese government have a record of his departure, the reports said.

Jomaah and Hsiao met in the United States, where they were both studying. After Jomaah obtained his master’s degree in teaching English as a second language, Hsiao followed him to Japan, where they got married about two years ago. He found work as a teacher in Kanazawa.

Taiwan is not a member of Interpol and has no official relations or extradition agreement with Japan.