Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung court convicts three of spying for China

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Kaohsiung District Court yesterday convicted two retired Taiwan Garrison Command officers and a former Coast Guard Administration officer of breaching the National Security Act (國家安全法) by spying for China, sentencing them to prison terms of less than four years.

The court said an investigation had found that 60-year-old Tsui Yi-sheng (崔沂生), who was an intelligence officer with the Taiwan Garrison Command, had initiated contact with Chinese state security officials in 2004.

Tsui was found to later have introduced two friends — 58-year-old Yeh Jui-chang (葉瑞璋), who retired from the Coast Guard Administration with a rank equal to colonel, and 59-year-old Lee Ching-hsien (李慶賢), who served in the Taiwan Garrison Command’s Security Service section until he retired as a lieutenant colonel — to Chinese security officials.

The three men were found to have passed classified documents and photographs on troop and weapon deployments by military and coast guard units, as well as top-secret intelligence reports, to Chinese officials from 2007 to 2012, for which they received financial compensation.

“Investigations found that the three defendants betrayed the nation with their espionage activities, despite the fact that our nation had looked after them for many years during their training and active service,” the court said in a statement.

Lee was sentenced to three years and six months in prison, Tsui to two years and six months, and Yeh to 12 months.

As it was the first district court ruling, the verdicts can still appealed.

Prosecutors said that Yeh receives a monthly pension of more than NT$70,000 and Lee’s monthly pension is more than NT$50,000, while Tsui does not receive a pension, as he only served seven years on active duty.

Investigators found that Tsui traveled to China for business in 2004, where he became acquainted with a senior Chinese state security official surnamed Zhang (張), who held posts in Shandong Province.

Zhang allegedly asked Tsui to introduce fellow officers and friends who had served in Taiwan’s military, state security or high-level government posts, with the aim of recruiting them to work for China by collecting classified materials.

Investigators found that Tsui had arranged trips in 2007 to China for Lee, and arranged for him to meet Zhang, while Yeh, who had access to top-level classified material at the Coast Guard Administration, was recruited later on.

However, after reviewing dossiers and examining testimony by suspects and persons related to the case, investigators determined that Lee had actually been recruited by Chinese intelligence officials during a visit to China in 2005, when he was introduced to a Chinese official surnamed Wang (王), who was in charge of border security and intelligence in Yunnan Province.

Lee was treated to dinners, banquets and further trips to China after 2005, all reportedly paid for by Wang, after Lee agreed to collect classified military materials and help develop a spy network in Taiwan, investigators said.

Yeh passed on to China reports on weapons and troop deployments around Taiwan’s coastal areas and offshore islands, including details of construction plans by Coast Guard Administration units for islets in the South China Sea controlled by Taiwan, investigators said.

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