TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Seven Taiwanese citizens detained in Cambodia on suspicion of electronic fraud could soon be deported to China instead of Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.
Over the past year, several countries which maintain official diplomatic ties to Beijing have put Taiwanese fraud suspects on flights to China, which reasons that because most of the victims were its nationals, the Taiwanese should face trial under its jurisdiction.
China supplied information to the Cambodian authorities which helped them detain 31 alleged members of a fraud ring, including the seven Taiwanese, MOFA said. The group was picked up near the capital Phnom Penh on Monday morning, and Cambodia informed Taiwan’s office in Ho Chi Minh City in neighboring Vietnam of the presence of its nationals.
MOFA said its representative was working hard to persuade the Southeast Asian country to respect the principle of judicial authority and return the Taiwanese suspects to the island. A staff member of the Ho Chi Minh City office was traveling to Phnom Penh to seek out details about the identity of the suspects and to provide them with legal aid, MOFA said.
Once Taiwanese suspects were transferred to China, the Taiwanese authorities have mostly been unable to maintain contact with them or to help their relatives visit them in detention.