Thu, Aug 07, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Investigators credit tip for spy charges

NATIONAL SECURITY The Bureau of Investigation said it had been tailing three suspects since 1999 and that a tip paved the way for their arrest Tuesday

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Justice said yesterday a tip led to Tuesday's arrest of three men who allegedly spied for China.

Businessman Yeh Yu-chen (葉裕鎮), Chen Shih-liang (陳士良), a senior researcher at the Ministry of National Defense's Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology, and retired Boeing technician Hsu She-che (許希哲), allegedly Yeh and Chen's partner, were detained on charges of breach of national security.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday night, special agents arrested Yeh and Chen at their offices on Tuesday morning.

Hsu flew to Taipei from Los Angeles and arrived at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport around 8:30pm on Tuesday. Agents arrested him immediately after he walked out of the gate on his way to a flight to Kaohsiung.

"We have tailed these three guys since 1999. Secret tips indicated that Hsu was flying back to Taiwan to meet Yeh and that then they would fly to China. As a result, we decided to make our move on Tuesday night," said Yang, a senior agent of the investigation bureau, who wished to remain anonymous.

According to the bureau, Yeh, Chen and Hsu sold military secrets, such as details of the P-3C anti-submarine aircraft procurement and military troop deployment, to China over the past 10 years.

Prior to Tuesday's arrest, agents had discovered a suspicious US$40,000 deposit in Chen's bank account. They are now investigating where the money came from.

Yeh, 53, is the owner of the Ai-yin-hsi High-tech Co in Chungli, Taoyuan County. Yeh and his Chinese wife's residence is above his office, where he was arrested. The company imports aircraft parts, electronic devices, radio devices and tiles.

The bureau's investigation showed that the institute had invited more than 20 companies and groups to visit its campus and that Yeh's company was one of them.

According to the investigation, agents discovered that Yeh has a close relationship with the Chinese authorities, adding that some of the shareholders in his company are Chinese citizens. In addition, of Yeh's three marriages, two of them were to Chinese women.

Chen, a 52-year-old researcher, had access to classified information at the institute, where he has been working since 1979.

Hsu, a 56-year-old Taiwanese-American, retired as a technician from Boeing and lives in Seattle.

If indicted, Yeh, Chen and Hsu would face charges under Article 109 and 110 of the Criminal Code.

Article 109 says, "A person who discloses or delivers a document, plan, information or other thing of a secret nature concerning the defense of the Republic of China shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than one and not more than seven years.

"A person who discloses or delivers to a foreign state or to its agent a document, plan, information or other thing specified in the preceding paragraph shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than three and not more than 10 years."

Article 110 says, "A person who searches out or gathers a document, plan, information or other thing specified of Article 109 shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than five years."

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