TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following the sending of four Taiwanese telephone fraud suspects to China on July 26 for further trial, Cambodia deported three more Taiwanese citizens to China Saturday, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Even though the official from the Taiwanese representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, had persistently asked the Cambodian authorities to respect the principle of judicial authority and return the Taiwanese suspects to the island, the Southeast Asian country still decided to deport the Taiwanese suspects to China and even forbade the Taiwanese official to visit them during detention, according to Wang Pei-lin (王珮玲), spokesperson of MOFA.
With the information provided by China, the Cambodian police arrested 31 telephone fraud suspects on July 18 accused of scamming Chinese people, particularly the rich and civil servants, into giving sums of money to exchange their nude photos that the fraud group claimed to have acquired.
Among the detained suspects, seven were identified to be Taiwanese citizens, as MOFA learned after the Cambodian authorities notified the Taiwanese representatives based in Ho Chi Minh City.
Yet the Taiwanese official was unable to take part in the investigation or visit the detainees after traveling to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and tried in vain to persuade the Cambodian authorities to return the Taiwanese suspects to the island for trial.
On July 26, four Taiwanese suspects were transferred to China based on Beijing’s request and its self-defined “One-China” policy.
MOFA confirmed that on July 29, the other three Taiwanese citizens detained in Cambodia were put on a flight to China.
In the past year, several countries with official diplomatic ties to Beijing have sent Taiwanese fraud suspects to China at Beijing’s request, including the 25 fraud suspects detained in Thailand on July 24. In those cases, the victims were reportedly Chinese residents, and hence Beijing repeatedly demanded that all the suspects be handed to its judiciary.
It is reported that once Taiwanese suspects were handed over to China, the Taiwanese officials would have difficulty contacting them, nor would their family members be able to visit them in detention.