TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Beijing court on Friday (April 16) sentenced 46 Taiwanese nationals to up to 13 years in prison for their alleged involvement in a cross-border telecom fraud.
The suspects, who were deported from Spain in 2016, were charged with defrauding Chinese in two separate cases, according to a bulletin posted by the Beijing Municipal High People's Court on Weibo.
In one case, seven culprits, including the leader, surnamed Lu (盧), were sentenced to 10-13 years for tricking 66 victims in China out of US$678,000 between October and December 2016. Their 28 accomplices were given jail terms of four to eight years.
The court said the members of the fraud ring would pose as police officers, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officials when they phoned their victims from their base in Spain.
In another case, 11 Taiwan nationals, including their leader, surnamed Tsai (蔡), were sentenced to five to 10 years behind bars for committing similar crimes during the same period. The court said they had swindled US$492,200 out of 10 victims.
The bulletin claimed the rights of all the accused were fully protected during the trials.
According to Chinese media, the 46 accused were among the 237 telecom fraud suspects — 218 of whom were Taiwanese — arrested by police in Madrid and Barcelona in 2016. After they were deported, Taiwan repeatedly expressed concern about a lack of due process and voiced strong opposition to Spain's decision to send its citizens to China for trial.