Latvia deported 110 fraud suspects to Taiwan

Most overseas telecom fraud suspects end up in China

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Taiwanese suspects deported from Cambodia to China in 2016.

Taiwanese suspects deported from Cambodia to China in 2016. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In contrast to several other countries, Latvia last year deported 110 Taiwanese fraud suspects to the island, and not to China, the Central News Agency reported Saturday.

Over the past two years, countries as diverse as Kenya, Spain and Malaysia arrested numerous Chinese and Taiwanese citizens for involvement in telecom scams targeting residents of China, but in most cases they deported the suspects to China, but not to Taiwan.

After Latvia detained 110 Taiwanese last August, the Baltic country handed all of them over to Taiwan in October, CNA reported.

By scamming people in China by phone between March and June, they made an estimated illegal profit of NT$73 million (US$2.48 million), according to the Latvian authorities.

The fact that they were Taiwanese only came to light after their alleged mastermind contacted the Taiwanese representative office to request assistance, CNA reported. The office succeeded in convincing Latvia to respect international human rights accords and basic judicial practice, so the country finally decided to send the Taiwanese suspects home.

China has said more than 1,000 fraud suspects have been brought in from overseas, though it did not specify how many were Taiwanese, CNA reported.