Spy’s sentence upheld
The Supreme Court upheld a decision on Thursday to sentence a businessman to three-and-a-half years in jail for spying for China. Lo Pin (羅彬) was found guilty by a lower court of being a double agent and of recruiting a military intelligence officer to work for Beijing. According to media reports, the pair provided Beijing with a list of Taiwanese agents working in China. Reports said this led to the unraveling of spy networks in China, although the exact repercussions are unknown. The court said Lo was originally a Taiwanese agent who was turned by the Chinese. It said he had recruited Lo Chi-cheng (羅奇正), no relation, then working for the military intelligence bureau, around 2006 to collect information for China in exchange for money.
Museum to give free shades
The Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday it will give away “eclipse glasses” on the following two weekends in the run-up to the transit of Venus in front of the sun on June 6. A limited number of eclipse shades will be given to visitors between 9am and 11am and 1:30pm and 4pm today and tomorrow and on June 2 and 3, the museum said in a statement. The rare astronomical event, last seen in Taiwan in 2004, will not take place again until 2117, the museum added. The transit of Venus, which is like a miniature solar eclipse, occurs when the planet passes between the sun and Earth and can be seen as a black spot moving across the face of the sun, the museum said. Starting at 6:11am, the full transit of Venus is expected to last six hours and 36 minutes and will be visible in Taiwan, eastern China, eastern Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Phone fraud ring busted
Another Taiwanese-led telephone fraud ring that operated mainly overseas and targeted mainland Chinese has been broken up through cross-border police cooperation, leading to the arrest of 484 suspects in various countries, police said yesterday. The suspects, who include 300 Taiwanese and 165 Chinese, were captured in Taiwan, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Fiji, according to Lin Yuan-cheng (林淵城), acting captain of the second investigation brigade of the Criminal Investigation Bureau. Lin said the bureau launched an investigation into the case late last year after being notified by Chinese police that a woman had been defrauded out of 12 million Chinese yuan (US$1.89 million) in November last year. Police found the criminal ring was very well organized and large, with bases in different countries across Asia, he said, adding that the ring members posed as police, prosecutors and bank staff to swindle money out of their victims.