TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two executives of a Hong Kong company alleged to be spies, including a suspected spymaster who a Chinese defector on Saturday (Nov. 23) said had recruited him, were arrested by investigators on Sunday (Nov. 24).
After self-proclaimed Chinese spy Wang "William" Liqiang (王立強) on Australia's 60 Minutes on Saturday identified China Innovation Investment Ltd. (CIIL) CEO Xiang Xin (向心) as having recruited him as a spy, Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) agents arrested Xiang, his wife, and alternate board member Kung Ching (龔青) as they prepared to board a plane at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday evening, reported UDN.
At 9:30 p.m. on Monday evening (Nov. 25), the two were transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office to face further investigation on suspicion of breaching the National Security Act, reported CNA. At 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning (Nov. 26), the Prosecutor's Office imposed an exit ban on the two to prevent them from leaving the country as the investigation continues.
Sign for CIIL office in Hong Kong. (AP photo)
According to CIIL's website, the company claims that it was incorporated in the Cayman Islands in February 2002 and listed on Hong Kong's stock exchange in August of that year. However, Wang alleged that CIIL, which has an office on Des Voeux Road Central in Hong Kong, was actually established by the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department to "penetrate Hong Kong's financial market and collect military intelligence," reported UDN.
He claimed that the Chinese government used CIIL as a conduit to provide funding to several Taiwanese news companies to spread Chinese propaganda. He said that CTi News, Chinese television (CTV), and EBC News had all agreed to support China and Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) after receiving a total of RMB$1.5 billion (US$210 million), reported Stand News.
Exterior of office building in Hong Kong where CIIL is located. (AP photo)