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Greece nabs 120 Taiwanese scam suspects

Greece nabs 120 Taiwanese scam suspects

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Greece detained more than 120 Taiwanese citizens suspected of electronic fraud, forcing the Taiwanese office in Athens to set up a special taskforce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Saturday.
Over the past few months, countries as varied as Kenya and Malaysia detained Taiwanese and Chinese nationals suspected of conducting scams targeting people in China. When several of the countries prepared to deport all the suspects to China, MOFA tried to prevent the move, demanding their transfer to Taiwan instead.
The Greek police’s organized crime department reportedly swooped down on a suburb of Athens on July 21 to detain dozens of Taiwanese allegedly involved in electronic gambling. In addition to the more than 120 Taiwanese suspects, three or four Greeks were also involved, but no Chinese, MOFA said.
Because the investigation was still ongoing, Greek police refused to divulge details about the identity of the suspects or victims or about the precise nature of the crimes allegedly committed by the group.
The Taiwanese office in Athens contacted local police in order to safeguard the rights of the suspects, reports said.
The Taiwanese citizens were being held at police headquarters in the Greek capital before questioning by prosecutors. That would be followed by either detention or bail.
The taskforce at the Taiwanese office would maintain channels of communication with the Greek police and judiciary while also trying to establish the identity of the suspects and keeping a close eye on the progress of the proceedings, MOFA said.
If any of the suspects were eventually to be deported by Greece, MOFA said it would do its utmost to make sure that they were handed over to Taiwan.
In the previous cases, most of MOFA’s efforts failed because both the suspects and the victims included citizens of China.