Wed, May 09, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Collaboration on smuggling, fraud ongoing: agency

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Law enforcement agencies in Taiwan and China continue to exchange information about major drug smuggling and financial fraud cases, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said on Sunday, denying there had been a breakdown in communication due to political issues.

“Collaboration on investigations remains ongoing, as outlined in the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement (海峽兩岸共同打擊犯罪及司法互助協議),” the bureau said in a statement.

Officials have acknowledged that while collaboration under the agreement has slightly slowed, communication channels remain open for both sides to exchange information on major drug smuggling and fraud cases.

The statement followed a report by the Chinese-language China Times, which said that Chinese authorities had shut down all cross-strait communication and collaboration, resulting in severe problems for local law enforcement agencies.

The newspaper cited a case of 23 Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects who were arrested and detained in the Philippines for more than a month before being repatriated to Taiwan earlier this year.

The suspects have been released due to a lack of cooperation from Chinese authorities, who did not forward information related to the case, most of the victims of which were reportedly Chinese, the newspaper said.

China’s decision to withhold the information was due to Premier William Lai (賴清德) over the past few months publicly voicing his support for Taiwanese independence, the newspaper said.

The bureau rejected the newspaper’s report, saying that there is no record of telecom fraud suspects being repatriated to Taiwan this year after being arrested in the Philippines.

The bureau also rejected the newspaper’s claim of delays in an investigation into 109 firearms and more than 12,000 bullets that were smuggled into Taiwan in a shipping container from Hong Kong.

Chinese authorities have refused to provide information in that investigation, which was announced on Saturday, the newspaper said.

“The investigation is ongoing. There has been no evidence of a connection to groups in China and we have not made any official request to Chinese authorities for their assistance or collaboration in the case,” the bureau’s statement said. “We urge people not to speculate on this and other cases to avoid affecting cross-strait collaboration and the mutual trust between the two sides.”

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