The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Tuesday it would be difficult to link the exchange of an American fugitive recently apprehended in Taipei for Taiwanese on the run in the US because the two countries do not have an extradition treaty.
Ministry spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) was responding to an opinion piece by former ambassador to South Africa Loh I-cheng (陸以正), who suggested using a US fugitive detained in Taipei as a bargaining chip to get Washington to extradite individuals living in the US who are wanted in Taiwan.
The Taiwanese that Loh was referring to were Wang You-theng (王又曾), who is wanted for allegedly embezzling billions of dollars from his Rebar Asia Pacific Group, and Huang Fang-yen (黃芳彥), the former deputy head of the Shin Kong Memorial Hospital, who prosecutors want to question as a witness in the probe of corruption and money-laundering allegations against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his wife.
The American that Loh referred to is Mark Lee Kaczmarczyk, who was detained by Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) agents on Sunday and is now being held at the Alien Temporary Detention Center in Sansia Township (三峽), Taipei County. He is wanted in California on child molestation charges.
The CIB said that Kaczmarczyk was wanted for allegedly molesting six children at a daycare center that he operated and could face a jail term of 48 years.
Despite the lack of an extradition treaty with the US, Kaczmarczyk was likely to be repatriated to the US if he was not found to have committed any crimes in Taiwan, the bureau said.