Debt collectors attack restaurant with cockroaches. Little did they know that the police were eating there.

Attack on cockroach restaurant in Taiwan

A gang released hundreds of cockroaches in a restaurant to intimidate the owner. Photo: WANG ZHAO / AFP

In Taiwan’s capital, a gang of debt collectors was arrested for unleashing hundreds of cockroaches in a restaurant to intimidate the owner just as the police were holding a dinner party there.

The insect barrier took place on Monday evening. The surveillance camera footage shows two men running away from the restaurant, leaving hundreds of cockroaches at the front desk.

To the surprise of the attackers, a banquet for 700 guests was held in the restaurant when the insects were released. Taipei Police Chief Chen Jia-chang said he arrived at the restaurant right after the attack and was confused about all the cockroaches on the floor.

Police arrested five people the next day after investigating overnight, police said at a press conference on Wednesday, according to Central News Agency, Taiwan. Two of the arrested men were responsible for releasing the cockroaches, while the other two men and one underage woman were responsible for filming and driving.

“They did not know who was attending the banquet, so they were very sorry,” Hsu Sung-chia, chief of the Zhongshan Police Department in Taipei City, told reporters. “They said things like ‘we are doomed’ and ‘now it’s messed up’.”

Police said the gang was hired by another accomplice who remained at large to repay more than 15 million new Taiwan dollars ($ 540,000) in debt from the restaurant.

They bought three bags of cockroaches from an aquarium for about $ 360, but one bag broke on the way and the insects came out prematurely.

The four adult suspects, who are charged with violence and coercion threats, were brought to trial Thursday morning. Three of them were released on bail and one was reprimanded.

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