A retired Taiwanese agent is in police custody for allegedly luring his colleagues to China to force sensitive information out of them, a local media report said yesterday.
Tung Chien-nan (董建南), a former agent at the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau’s China situation division, was allegedly recruited by Beijing after his retirement about four years ago, the Chinese-language United Daily News said.
Tung was suspected of tricking several former agents into going to China under the pretext of traveling or doing business, but they were detained upon arrival for interrogation, the report said.
Intelligence units are assessing the possible damage Tung has caused. Beijing allegedly used him and other former agents to gather information on local spies stationed in China, it said.
The case came to light after another former agent who was temporarily held in China reported Tung to Taiwanese authorities. Tung was arrested last month when he returned to Taiwan to collect his pension, the report added.
The two sides have seen significant progress since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was elected in 2008.
However, Ma has said that Taiwan should strengthen its defenses against Chinese espionage, following a string of spy scandals that showed intelligence gathering has continued despite thawing ties.
Last month, a Taiwanese air force captain was arrested for allegedly leaking classified data to China via his uncle, a businessman based in China.
Taiwan’s military court last year handed out life sentences to an army general and an intelligence officer for spying for China in the nation’s worst spy scandal in recent years.
The bureau was not immediately available for comment over the latest case.