At least 39 Taiwanese arrested in Spain telephone fraud crackdown

17-Dec-2016 Intellasia | China Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Thirty-nine Taiwanese nationals were among around 300 fraud suspects arrested earlier this week in Spain, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Thursday.

According to a report released by The Associated Press on Wednesday, 200-plus telecommunication fraud suspects were arrested on Tuesday during separate raids in Madrid and the eastern cities of Barcelona and Alicante.

The fraud network, reportedly made up mainly of mainland Chinese with some Taiwanese, is accused of swindling 16 million euros (US$17 million) from Chinese victims.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokeswoman Eleanor Wang confirmed in Taipei that at least 39 of the suspects were Republic of China citizens.

That number is expected to rise as Taiwan’s representative office continues to go through the identities of suspects with local police authorities.

“We have asked the office to offer assistance to nationals during interrogation and to make sure their legal rights will be protected during the investigations,” she added.

Wang said that the crackdown was undertaken after Chinese police found that many telecommunication fraud phone calls originated from Spain.

It later joined hands with Spanish counterparts to locate the fraud ring that targeted victims in mainland China.

Taiwan’s representative office in Spain learned of the joint operation between China and Spain and passed the information to Taiwan’s National Police Agency, Criminal Investigation Bureau. Taiwan representatives also established contact with Spanish police authorities, Wang said.

China asks Spain to Send Taiwanese to Mainland

According to AP, the Chinese embassy in Madrid said Beijing would seek the extradition of all suspects – including the Taiwan citizens – for trial in mainland China.

Spain does not have diplomatic ties with Taiwan and had signed an extradition treaty with China in 2005.

Asked to comment, Wang said it was not surprising that the Chinese side would want to send Taiwanese suspects to mainland China, seeing as they claimed that most victims were Chinese nationals.

Wang said the Taiwan government would insist that R.O.C. citizens be sent back to Taiwan for trial under the principle of “national jurisdiction.”


Category: Taiwan

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