A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator and the New Power Party (NPP) caucus yesterday panned China over its refusal to release information concerning 20 Taiwanese fraud suspects who were deported from Malaysia, which resulted in their release immediately upon arrival in Taiwan.
Twenty of the 52 Taiwanese arrested in Malaysia last month on suspicion of telephone fraud returned to Taiwan on Friday evening, after Taiwanese authorities spent the day discussing the case with Malaysia and China to try to prevent the Malaysian authorities from deporting them to China.
“The 20 people who were deported to Taiwan last night [Friday] were sent back to Taiwan because Malaysia believes they were not seriously involved in telephone fraud. Neither Chinese or Malaysian police gave Taiwanese officials any documents,” DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said on Facebook.
“When they were sent to the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office, the prosecutor released them because nothing but an interrogation transcript from Malaysian police was given to Taiwanese authorities,” Tuan said.
Tuan said that when Criminal Investigation Bureau officials arrived at the airport on Friday night to meet the Taiwanese suspects, they were surprised to learn that no documents related to the case were sent.
Officers immediately contacted their Malaysian counterparts and were told that all documents and evidence were in the hands of Chinese authorities, Tuan said, adding that when they contacted Chinese authorities, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security turned down the request.
Tuan said that according to an agreement reached by Taiwan and China in 2011, when Taiwanese or Chinese are deported for crimes committed in a third country, any evidence is to be sent with the suspects on deportation.
The NPP caucus yesterday issued a statement applauding the nation’s representatives abroad for successfully preventing Taiwanese in Malaysia from being deported to China.
“We deeply regret that the relevant evidence has been sent to China, the lack of which has left our law enforcement agencies powerless to conduct an investigation into the case and thereby aggravated the negative image that fraudsters get away easily” in Taiwan, the statement said.
“We would like to call on the People’s Republic of China that, as a responsible member of the international community and for the shared objective of fighting crimes, it immediately stop the malicious behavior of forcibly deporting Taiwanese and withholding evidence that would paralyze the judiciary of our nation and result in Taiwanese loss of confidence in the rule of law,” the statement said.
Additional reporting by Alison Hsiao