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Taiwan sentences ex-colonel to 20 years in jail for China spy ring

High Court also issues prison terms for six ring members

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The High Court sentenced a retired Air Force colonel to 20 years in jail for forming a spy ring. 

The High Court sentenced a retired Air Force colonel to 20 years in jail for forming a spy ring.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan High Court on Wednesday (Oct. 25) sentenced a retired Air Force colonel to 20 years in prison for forming and running a spy ring on China’s behalf.

The six serving officers he recruited to work for Beijing received prison terms ranging from six months to 20 years and six months, per CNA. The colonel, surnamed Liu (劉), also saw profits from his illegal activities totaling NT$16.7 million (US$515,800) confiscated.

Prosecutors in Kaohsiung found Liu started doing business in China after retiring from the military in 2013. Over eight years, he used his connections in the armed forces to recruit six serving Air Force and Navy officers.

Liu used a shell company to hide the transfer of payments, which included sums ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$100,000 for the handing over of confidential military information. The authorities cracked down on the spy ring in January, arresting Liu and the six other officers.

On Wednesday, the Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Court also sentenced a lieutenant colonel named Sun (孫) to 19 years and six months in prison and confiscated NT$969,000 in illegal income. A major surnamed Liu (劉) was sentenced to 20 years and six months, the report said.

The three other ring members also held the rank of major. Kung (龔) received a prison term of three years and six months, Teng (鄧) two years, and Lin (林) six months.