Fri, Aug 15, 2003 - Page 2 News List

BOI appeals for help in finding spiller of secrets

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

An illustration of the suspect.

The Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation (BOI) yesterday asked the public to help locate a man suspected of leaking classified information from the National Security Bureau's Fengtien (奉天) and Dangyang (當陽) committees to lawmakers and the media last year.

"The suspect is in his 50s, about 170cm tall with an athletic build and short grey hair, and speaks Mandarin with an accurate pronunciation. Witnesses said that he also gave the impression that he could be a retired serviceman," said Lin Yun-he (林雲鶴), the deputy director of the BOI's Third Department, during a press conference yesterday afternoon.

Lin also distributed an artist's drawing of the suspect's face.

He urged members of the public to call (02) 2217-7537 if they had any information on the suspect, or to visit the BOI in person or log onto the bureau's Web site (www.mjib.gov.tw).

Lin said that tipsters will be rewarded if their information leads to the arrest of the suspect or if they provide a tip that allows special agents to locate him. Lin did not specify the amount of the reward.

Investigators believe the man sneaked into NSB's headquarters and photographed classified documents on the two committees around midnight on Jan. 31 last year. He apparently copied photos of the documents onto several compactflash cards.

"We are quite sure that he made more than 10 copies," Lin said. "The suspect tried to give these compactflash cards to lawmakers and local media between January and March [last year]. However, he did not ask for any money."

Lin said that investigators had thought for a while the leak had been an inside job but that NSB officials had been able to disprove this theory. He said the suspect had been seen by more than two witnesses.

On March 20 last year, two Chinese-language magazine, China Times and Next, published stories about the secret committees.

According to Next's articles, the committees had been set up to handle secret diplomatic efforts and conduct diplomatic research, and they oversaw a fund of about NT$3.5 billion deposited at the Farmer's Bank of China (農民銀行).

Despite repeated questioning, Lin did not say why the bureau was only asking for help now, when his alleged crime took place almost 16 months ago.

Lin told reporters that there was no evidence that former NSB official Liu Kuan-chun (劉冠軍) was involved in the case.

Liu, the NSB's former chief cashier, is wanted for alleged embezzlement of more than NT$192 million. According to the BOI, Liu left Taiwan on Sept. 3, 2000 and went to Shanghai. He appeared in Bangkok in January last year and from there went to North America. Reliable sources have said that Liu is in Canada.

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