Ministry of Justice Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs Director-General Chen Wen-chi (陳文琪) yesterday said that her delegation has reached an agreement with their Chinese counterparts to jointly investigate the Kenya and Malaysia telecom fraud cases, and that relatives will be allowed to visit the 45 Taiwanese detained in China.
“We had dialogue with our Chinese counterparts and have reached a preliminary agreement for cross-strait joint investigation of these two cases,” Chen said after the Taiwanese delegation returned to Taiwan yesterday.
“On those crimes carried out in foreign countries, both sides agreed to work out a suitable mechanism to handle these cases. We hope to have the mechanism in place for improved crime-fighting efforts,” she added.
Chen said that Chinese authorities would permit families of the suspects to see them and that arrangements would be made in the near future.
Chen and her 10-member delegation arrived in Beijing on Wednesday to hold talks with Chinese officials about the Taiwanese suspects.
On Thursday, they spoke via video link to some Taiwanese being held there.
The detainees appeared to be in good condition and were adjusting well so far, while two of them have hired lawyers for their defense, Chen said.
When asked when the Taiwanese could be repatriated back to Taiwan, Chen said that would be dealt with later, because the current priority is the investigation.
Chen said that Chinese authorities are still gathering evidence, and when necessary, both sides can dispatch delegations for visits to assist in the investigation and access the evidence.
Chinese Ministry of Public Security officials said all 45 Taiwanese suspects in the Kenya case have confessed to fraud and that they were held in 45 different holding cells to prevent collusion on their testimony.
Xinhua news agency on Thursday reported that China would try the Taiwanese suspects and that an official with the Chinese Ministry of Public Security reiterated that to the Taiwanese delegation.
Additional reporting by Reuters