TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Thursday, Indonesia deported 143 suspects believed to be Chinese and Taiwanese to China after they were arrested in connection with fraudulent activities.
The men were arrested after the Indonesian government launched an extensive crackdown in late July. Twenty-two out of the 143 men are believed to be Taiwanese.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed “serious concern” over the case.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the ministry also expressed deep regret over the issue and urged the Indonesian government to protect the rights of these Taiwanese citizens.
The ministry, according to information provided by the Taiwanese representative offices in Jakarta and Surabaya, said that Indonesian police in cooperation with China apprehended 143 telecom fraud suspects during the raids in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali and Batam on July 29.
After learning about the incident, the ministry ordered the Taiwanese diplomats stationed in Indonesia to try their best to convince the Indonesian government to deport the Taiwanese suspects back to Taiwan to face justice.
However, Indonesia refused to cooperate with Taiwan or provide Taiwan with any further information on the case, the ministry said, adding that it was China that helped provide the necessary information to crack the case.
All 143 suspects were put on two different China Southern Airlines planes to Chengdu and Tianjin.
There have been several cases in the past when Taiwanese nationals were arrested in foreign countries for fraudulent activities and were deported to China to face trial. Beijing argued every time that all were Chinese citizens and that it provided the information that helped uncover the suspects.
The most recent example involved three Taiwanese nationals who were arrested in Cambodia for involvement in telecom fraud but were deported to China instead of Taiwan on July 29.