Property being held

I need some help. I left Taiwan about a year ago. I left some furniture and a few boxes with a friend of friend. I offered to pay storage for the goods, but the offer was declined. As I wanted to make sure I showed this person that I appreciate their help, I gave them a number of electrical applicances.

At the beginning of this year I asked this person if they wanted to buy my furniture. They offered me a ridiculously low amount of money for it, I asked for more and they asked for time to pay it. Then they stopped communicating with me. About 6 weeks ago I finally got a hold of this person’s phone number (I was communicating via email before) and sms’d them. They are now refusing to give me anything I own back. They are also refusing to give me money for the furniture. They have gone through my boxes of stuff and taken out all the stuff they like and given my friends half a box of clothes. This person is threatening and making up lies about having sold the stuff to pay for debts, which I don’t have. They are forbidding me from talking to anyone in Taiwan and making a lot of really uncalled for accusations and insults as their reason for not returning my stuff.

I have receipts for my belongings, I made about 100,000NT for all this stuff. Even if I don’t get the furniture back I still want what was in the boxes. Can I sue this guy? Or report it as stolen to the police? Do I need to be in Taiwan to do this? If so, can I get someone else to do it for me? Can I get a lawyer to take on a civil case for me? If so, can one be recommended?


You could try all of that but I am not sure that you would be successful.

From what I read from your post your stuff was at this persons house for around a year and it sounds like you had a lot of stuff. We are not talking about a couple of boxes in the corner of the spare room!

I think that it will prove next to impossible to prove that your ‘friend’ was storing the stuff for you. It wouldn’t be difficult for that other person to claim that you in fact gave him or her the stuff and now want it back. If you think that you can prove that then you might have a chance.

Thanks for your advice Brian.

I have emails from the person telling me he will not give my stuff back as he doesn’t like me, he acknowledges it’s my stuff in the emails but that he’s just not prepared to give it back. Then in the next email claims to have sold it, then he says he will keep it because he doesn’t want to give it back.

I also have emails from him directly me not to telephone him or anyone else in Taiwan about this, and a direction to only communicate with him via email. He also directed me in emails not to contact him as he was busy and didn’t have time to deal with me. I have copies all the emails I have sent him since the beginning of the year trying to get either money and my boxes or the furniture (it’s only a bedroom suite and 5 boxes), which he has been ignoring. This is why the goods have been with him for so long, not from lack of trying.

I have discovered this person is working illegally for schools. I am prepared to use this as leverage to get my things back. Can someone recommend a lawyer to handle a complaint to the MOE?


Oish! Where is the love?

Bummer of a problem. Perhpas you should explain to this person your intentions . . . do you have other contacts in Taiwan that can pick it up and send it on?

Good luck.


You are certainly lucky that you have kept those emails. If you have emails that you can show that prove what your possessions are, that your friend was to look after these and return them to you, but has since decided to keep the stuff, then you may have a case.

The fact that your friend doesn’t want you to call him on the phone would be the very reason that I would do this. If it is an inconvenience for him then the simple solution is to return your goods to you and you won’t need to call him.

I think that you should approach him and explain that you have the paperwork necessary to go to the authorities about this matter, but you need to be prepared to actually pursue him in this way if this is what you threaten. I wouldn’t mention dobbing him in yet.

If you get nowhere with the above then you may like to dob him in. You would need to go to the CLA however not the MOE.

Fantastic, thanks Brian.

I had a friend approach him about returning the goods and he still declined. So I made the threat (well not so much a threat as a means of leverage I intend of carrying out on), he has said he gives in and will return it. Then sent another email asking for money for storage. It’s a nightmare. Basically I don’t care about money, I don’t want to be taken advantage of just because i’m not in the Country. The worst bit is this guy is actually supposed to be friends with my best friend’s husband.