Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Retired colonel arrested over espionage charges

SPY NETWORK:Knowing the ex-officer’s habits, Chinese intelligence used women to seduce him and arranged a job for him in return for passing on classified information

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Authorities have arrested a retired colonel for allegedly passing on military information to China in return for money and sex.

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office said that they raided the Pingtung County residence of a retired colonel surnamed Lan (藍) last month and have sufficient evidence to charge him with breaches of the National Security Act (國家安全法) and offenses against state security.

The judiciary, military intelligence and police agencies formed a task force two years ago to investigate Lan after allegations that he was recruited to work for China after his retirement and went to work at a textile factory in Dongguan City in China’s Guangdong Province.

Lan graduated from the National Defense University’s Management College in 1982 and supervised education and training programs at the university to cultivate unit commanders and officers.

He retired in 1996.

Lan secured an executive position at the Dongguan textile factory with a monthly salary of NT$90,000.

After divorcing his wife, he allegedly frequented hostess nightclubs and had relationships with several women while living in China, the Chinese-language Mirror Media reported.

Knowing his habits, Chinese intelligence officials targeted Lan by using women to seduce him and arranged the position for him at the textile factory, authorities said.

Investigators said that documents show Lan passed on the personal information of six colonels and lieutenant colonels, as well as other university officers and military unit members, to China.

Lan allegedly also passed on other classified military materials provided by his former colleagues, and that he had agreed to develop a spy network in Taiwan to conduct espionage for China.

Lan, 58, has denied the allegations, authorities said.

Lan’s time at the university helped him establish links with young officers who went on to work in the Military Intelligence Bureau, the National Security Bureau and the Military Security Brigade’s counterintelligence section, and the military might have been considerably compromised, prosecutors said.

Lan returned to Taiwan in 2016, and investigators, after receiving tip-offs about his espionage activities, put him under surveillance.

It was believed that he was being instructed by Beijing to contact former colleagues and friends to develop a spy network in Taiwan’s intelligence agencies and various top military units.

Raids were conducted last month, but due to the sensitive nature of the case, authorities only released the information recently.

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