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Former Taiwan presidential guard and nephew imprisoned after spying for China

Former guard recruited by intelligence agent at law firm in China

The Presidential Office Building in Taipei City. (Presidential Office photo)

The Presidential Office Building in Taipei City. (Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A former presidential guard and his nephew were imprisoned for collecting information about Presidential Office guards and visitors and passing it on to China, reports said Friday (June 2).

The individual, surnamed Sun (孫), received a 32-month jail term, while his nephew, Wang (王), will serve 16 months in prison, per CNA. Sun used to work as a guard in the entourage of Presidents Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

After retiring, Sun went to work in China for a law office, where he met a Chinese security agent. In 2018, Sun contacted his nephew, who had been promoted to work for a security guard unit at the Presidential Office.

Sun asked Wang to provide him with information about President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文), schedule, and about visits from American and Japanese legislators. He wanted names, times, and locations, but failed to obtain them, according to the report.

However, Wang handed him the names, phone numbers, and work schedules of presidential guards, which he passed on to the Chinese intelligence officer, surnamed Fang (方).

Because Wang admitted his guilt and cooperated with the authorities during the first phase of the investigation, he received a suspended sentence and a fine. However, because he later changed his story and denied the allegations, the Taiwan High Court gave him a prison term of one year and four months.

Objections by Sun and Wang against their High Court verdicts were rejected by the Supreme Court, so new appeals are not possible.