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MOFA pledges to prevent possible abuse of visa waivers by criminals

MOFA pledges to prevent possible abuse of visa waivers by criminals

Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will provide the names of fugitives whose passports have been revoked to foreign authorities to prevent them from taking advantage of Taiwan's visa waiver treatment to move freely, an official said Tuesday. Lee Yun-sheng, deputy director of MOFA's Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the ministry will inform its representative offices of fugitives' names and have the offices forward them to immigration authorities in the countries where they are stationed. Lee was responding to the concerns of opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislators Chiu Chih-wei and Hsu Chih-chieh, who charged that the ministry's procedures in revoking the passports of fugitives were "flawed." According to the legislators, Taiwan currently only informs its representative offices of such information, but the offices do not pass on the information to foreign authorities. Taiwan has gained visa-waiver treatment from more than 120 countries and areas, and the legislators suggested that the "flawed" procedures combined with visa free treatment could make it easier for fugitives to move between countries. There are a total of 4,045 criminals wanted by Taiwan who are on the loose overseas, the legislators said. Chiu demanded that once the court issues an arrest warrant for a criminal who has fled to another country, the ministry should inform both its representative offices and foreign authorities of the person's identity. He said the ministry should also ask foreign authorities to deny entry to wanted Taiwanese criminals and contact Taiwanese authorities when fugitives whose passports have been revoked attempt to enter their country. (By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Jamie Wang)


Updated : 2021-03-06 03:06 GMT+08:00