Sat, Jul 03, 2004 - Page 1 News List

MAC wants China to hand over Taiwanese suspects

CNA , TAIPEI

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) asked China on Thursday to repatriate Taiwanese suspects in a cross-strait fraud ring that were recently arrested in Shanghai to stand trial in Taiwan.

MAC Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) made the call after Shanghai public security authorities announced June 30 that they had cracked a large fraud ring allegedly formed by Taiwanese expatriates. Fifty-seven Taiwanese citizens were arrested in the raid, according to the Chinese announcement.

Chiu said it is the MAC's expectation that Taiwanese suspects will be repatriated to stand trial, as this is the most convenient and efficient way of dealing with the alleged criminals.

If Chinese law enforcement authorities were to insist on jurisdiction over the Taiwanese suspects, it would make matters more complicated, Chiu said.

He said the MAC will continue to communicate and negotiate -- through the intermediary Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) -- with China on this matter.

Chiu made a call June 30 urging Chinese authorities to negotiate with Taiwan on feasible measures to jointly fight criminal activities involving people from both sides of the strait.

He said Taiwan's SEF has informed its Chinese counterpart -- the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) -- on six occasions since last July of the fleeing of suspected Taiwanese fraudsters to China. The SEF also faxed detailed information about 11 cross-strait criminal cases.

"Although the Chinese authorities failed to give the SEF any formal response to those messages, we believe that the information offered by the SEF has contributed much to Shanghai law enforcement officers' latest success in cracking the ring," Chiu said.

In his view, Chiu said, there is ample room for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to cooperate in tackling cross-strait criminal activities.

"We hope the SEF and ARATS can resume regular dialogue to work out more effective measures to eradicate cross-strait crime," he added.

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