Taiwanese officials are trying to have 13 Taiwanese who were arrested in Cambodia on suspicion of being involved in a telecommunication fraud ring repatriated, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Cambodian police on Monday last week arrested 13 Taiwanese and 14 Chinese on suspicion of operating a telecommunication fraud ring to swindle victims in China.
In the absence of a Taiwanese liaison office in Cambodia, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is following up on the case, the ministry said.
Ho Chi Minh City office director-general Liang Guang-chung (梁光中) led a delegation to Phnom Penh on Friday for talks with officials from the Cambodian National Police and the Cambodia National Immigration Department.
The delegation will ask Cambodian authorities to repatriate the 13 suspects to Taiwan in accordance with international jurisdiction principles, the ministry said.
However, Beijing has requested Cambodia to repatriate the Taiwanese suspects to China on the grounds that their victims were in China and it forcibly obstructed Taiwanese officials from visiting the suspects, the ministry said.
Cambodia has close ties with China, and the ministry, citing the information from the Ho Chi Minh City office, said Phnom Penh might buckle to Chinese pressure and send the suspects to China.
The ministry said that the delegation will also discuss Saturday’s arrests of four other Taiwanese with Cambodian authorities.
The four Taiwanese allegedly involved in a telecommunication fraud ring were arrested by immigration officers at Phnom Penh International Airport as they were about to board a plane for Taiwan, the ministry said.
The four Taiwanese yesterday told the Chinese-language Apple Daily that they were asked to post bail of US$60,000 to secure their release and were given a mobile phone to talk to their relatives.
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