Hong Kong refuses visa extension for Taiwan Investigation Bureau official

Official served in Hong Kong since December, unlikely to be replaced

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Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau headquarters in New Taipei City (photo by Bstlee).

Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau headquarters in New Taipei City (photo by Bstlee). (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An official of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) was forced to return home Wednesday (September 18) after Hong Kong refused to extend his working visa.

Tsai Meng-chieh (蔡孟潔) arrived in the territory last December as the first-ever MJIB representative to take up the post of secretary for judicial cooperation, the Central News Agency reported. Taiwan has similar position in several countries, including the United States, Great Britain, India and the Philippines.

Tsai is a graduate of National Taiwan University’s law department, studied in Britain and underwent training by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Last April, media reports emerged that Hong Kong wanted the official to leave, and in May, there were reports saying the special administrative region of China would not extend Tsai’s working visa.

At the time, the Mainland Affairs Council denied the reports, according to CNA. However, on September 10, Tsai received official notification that his visa would not be extended, so he decided to leave Wednesday.

The MJIB said that during his tenure, Tsai had respected all local laws and regulations, and added it regretted Hong Kong had resorted to vague wording to turn down the visa extension.

The official played a role in the cooperation between Taichung investigators and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which led to the arrest of a suspected telecom fraud ring.

Within the near future, there was little likelihood of a successor to Tsai taking up his position in Hong Kong, MJIB officials said.