Twelve Taiwanese held in Cambodia, MOFA seeks access

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Jul 24, 2019 - Page 3

Twelve Taiwanese were arrested in Cambodia last week on suspicion of engaging in telecom fraud, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, adding that the nation’s nearest representative office is requesting consular access to visit the suspects.

“We are fully aware of a case in which 18 telecom fraud suspects, including 12 Taiwanese, were apprehended in Kampong Speu in Cambodia on July 17,” deputy spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a weekly news conference in Taipei yesterday.

With the case still under investigation, the ministry has instructed its representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to contact Cambodian police and authorities to get details and ascertain if any other Taiwanese were involved.

“We are requesting consular access from Cambodian authorities to check the condition of the Taiwanese suspects,” Ou said.

Saying that the ministry would ask Cambodian authorities to ensure the basic rights of the suspects, Ou also advised Taiwanese abroad to abide by the laws of their host countries and avoid becoming involved in illegal activity.

The English-language Khmer Times on Friday last week reported that police and immigration officers had on Wednesday arrested 18 Chinese on suspicion of telecom fraud in Kampong Speu Province.

Police confiscated 21 phones, five laptops, two printers, 33 desktop computers and six walkie-talkies during the operation, the report said.

In December last year, Cambodian authorities deported 46 Taiwanese to China.

Since 2016, at least 650 Taiwanese arrested in a third country on telecom fraud charges have been deported or extradited to China, Mainland Affairs Council data showed.