Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan-China crime pact said to have achieved little

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

While the Ministry of Justice and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) have touted the signing of a cross-strait crime-fighting agreement, critics and legal reform groups yesterday said that statistics can be deceiving, and that China had refused to repatriate several high-profile Taiwanese business fugitives.

At a public exhibition launched on Friday, the ministry presented data compiled since the signing of the Agreement on Jointly Cracking Down on Crime and Mutual Legal Assistance Across the Strait in 2009.

At the event, Ma lauded the agreement by citing statistics from the ministry which purported to show reduced crime in both Taiwan and China, decreases in financial corruption and an upturn in the crime clearance rates.

Ma said that since entering into the agreement in 2009, a total of about 67,000 cases from both sides of the Taiwan Strait were taken into consideration, with about 55,000 cases attaining conclusion, “which is an 81 percent completion rate.”

However, critics said such statistics released by government ministries are mostly manipulated through the use of highly biased filtering and selective data to flatter officials, and to deceive the public.

Legal reform organizations said the cross-strait crime-fighting agreement has had little effect, and was a tool for China to interfere in Taiwan’s criminal justice system, citing the meddling of judicial jurisdiction during a legal affairs exchange visit to China by delegates from the ministry.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office officials said that for homicide cases involving Chinese citizens in Taiwan, the suspects should be sent to China to stand trial. It was reported that a ministry delegation refused the request, but it indicated that China aims to challenge Taiwan’s jurisprudence system, and to extend their legal jurisdiction over Taiwanese.

Legal reform organizations said that Chinese authorities consistently rebuffed calls to take action over Taiwanese fugitives in China, such as former Tuntex Group chairman Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪), tycoon Tseng Cheng-jen (曾正仁) and Wan Chung (萬眾), who operated illegal underground banks for money lending.

Chinese authorities turned down requests to repatriate these fugitives’ illegal financial gains back to Taiwan, they said, adding that over the past six years, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court only repatriated swindled money back to Taiwanese victims in three cases, totaling NT$11.6 million (US$373,600).

The figure is alleged to be only a fraction of the tens of billions of NT dollars that have been illegally transferred to China over the past decade, with more than NT$3 billion last year, and as much as NT$18.5 billion in 2006.

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