Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Alleged spy now officially missing

FUGITIVE The Bureau of Investigation yesterday refused to confirm speculation that Yeh Yu-chen had fled the country after police lost contact with him in March

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Taiwanese businessman accused of spying for China has been listed as missing after law enforcement officers lost contact with him in March, the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation confirmed yesterday.

The bureau yesterday declined to confirm reports in the Chinese-language media that the alleged spy, Yeh Yu-chen (葉裕鎮), who had been released on bail last year, may have fled the country.

"We are sorry for what happened. But since we have been suffering from manpower shortages, it is difficult for us to assign extra special agents to follow a person who has been released on bail all day long if prosecutors do not ask us to do so," a press release by the bureau stated.

Yeh was released on NT$300,000 bail on Nov. 28 last year and ordered not to leave the country. According to the bureau, he changed his name to Yeh Wen-yuan (葉文淵) on Dec. 5. However, until Feb. 24 this year, Yeh always reported to the court on time whenever he was summoned. In March, special agents discovered that Yeh was no longer staying at the address they had for him and had begun to skip court appearances. They also discovered that Yeh had probably left the country some time between March and July.

The Taiwan High Court authorized a warrant for his arrest after he ignored three summonses and pronounced him a wanted fugitive after special agents failed to locate and arrest him in July.

Yeh, 53, is the owner of the Ai-yin-hsi High-tech Co in Chungli, Taoyuan County. The company imports aircraft parts, electronic devices, radio equipment and tiles.

Yeh and two other alleged spies, 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), are accused of having sold military secrets to China over the past 10 years.

The bureau's investigation showed that Yeh has a close relationship with the Beijing authorities and that some of the shareholders in his company are citizens of China.

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

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

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