Journalist arrested on spy charges

By Liu Yu-ching and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 - Page 3

A radio station director on Penghu was arrested this week on charges of spying for China.

Chen Yi-jui (陳益瑞), a former TV and radio journalist, currently heads the Penghu Bay radio station servicing the outlying Penghu Islands.

The Penghu District Prosecutors’ Office ordered his arrest on Wednesday for allegedly using his media access privileges to bribe officials in the Penghu County Government to obtain classified information to pass on to Chinese intelligence services.

This was the latest case involving the recruitment of Taiwanese journalists by China in the nation’s outlying islands.

One infamous case in 2002 involved Peng Chui-pin (彭垂濱), the publisher of the Kinmen Evening News, who used his journalist credentials to enter military installations around Kinmen, where he allegedly spied on heavy artillery bunkers and battalion positions, in exchange for payment from China.

According to sources, officers of the Ministry of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation arrived in Penghu on Wednesday to summon Chen for investigation and questioning.

It was reported that the bureau had put together enough evidence to detain Chen on charges of corruption and breaking the National Security Act (國家安全法).

However, further details of the case have not been made public and the bureau would only confirm that Chen is now in detention.

The 49-year-old Chen was a reporter based in Greater Tainan for Chinese Television System. Chen later purchased the “Voice of Siying,” a radio station operated by the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) local office in Penghu.

Along with his media business on Penghu, Chen also started a health food business and initiated a collaboration with television networks in Xiamen, Fujian Province, to make films and video documentaries of Penghu’s tourist attractions.

"Voice of Siying" was renamed "Penghu Bay" in 2010 and was facing unprofitable operations.

Information gathered by prosecutors suggested that it was around the time after the station changed its name that he was recruited to spy for China.