TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed grave concern on Tuesday over a decision by the Philippine government that will see seven Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects handed over to Beijing.
The event marks the second time Manila has sent Taiwanese people suspected of fraud to China in less than a year, despite repeated calls from Taiwan's government for authorities to refrain from doing so.
Last April, a total of 78 Taiwanese suspects apprehended in the Southeast Asian country were flown to Tianjin.
The seven Taiwanese citizens were members of a telecom fraud ring busted last October in Dingras, a municipality in the province of Ilocos Norte. Another six have been arrested and are under investigation for criminal activity, but are yet to be deported, reports CNA.
At the instruction of MOFA, Taiwan's representative office in Manila has urged the Philippine government to return the individuals back to Taiwan where they ought to face trial, honoring bilateral agreements on countering international crime and the Nationality Principle.
A Filipino official who spoke on anonymity said the reason for the deportations lies in the fact that the criminals were busted with a tip-off from Chinese authorities, and that most of the victims and evidence pertaining to the fraud were in China, wrote CNA.