Two Taiwanese women reported missing in South Korea were detained for alleged involvement in telecommunication fraud, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Citing information provided by South Korean police to the Taipei Mission in Korea on Saturday evening, the ministry said the women, surnamed Teng (鄧) and Chiang (江), were arrested on Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 respectively.
Teng had contacted the mission by letter on Feb. 28, while Chiang had reportedly told South Korean police that she did not want Taiwan’s government notified about her arrest, the ministry said.
Chiang’s mother filed a report with Taoyuan police on Feb. 25 after not hearing from her after her arrival in South Korea on Feb. 14.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily cited Chiang’s mother as saying that her daughter traveled with another Taiwanese woman for a three-month study program.
After being alerted by authorities in Taipei, the Taipei Mission in Korea reported the missing women to South Korean police, who were reportedly only able to locate Chiang after examining the identities of all foreigners recently arrested in that nation, the ministry said.
“South Korean police are still investigating the case. Chiang and Teng are the only two Taiwanese arrested in the case so far,” it said.
The ministry said it would keep a close watch on the case, adding that the mission sent officials to visit Teng on Saturday and Chiang is scheduled to be visited today.
Other Taiwanese arrested for telecom fraud in South Korea have been tried there, and if found guilty, served their jail terms there as Taipei and Seoul do not have an extradition treaty or a judicial assistance agreement, the ministry said.
Then-foreign ministry spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) in 2009 urged the public to be vigilant about offers of free trips or enticing jobs overseas because such offers were often used by international fraud rings to entice unsuspecting people into working for them.
Additional reporting by Lu Yi-hsuan
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