Amid snowballing controversy over last month’s deportations of Taiwanese fraud suspects to China, nearly half of respondents in a poll published by the New Party yesterday supported the transportation of such suspects to areas outside of Taiwan for interrogation.
The poll was conducted by Apollo Survey and Research Co — a company affiliated with Want Want China Times Group — at the behest of the party between Thursday and Friday last week following the deportation of 45 Taiwanese fraud suspects to Beijing from Kenya last month.
Asked how the government should handle Taiwanese fraud suspects based overseas who target foreign citizens to better fight transnational telecom scams, 49.1 percent of respondents said sending them to areas other than Taiwan for investigation.
About 33 percent said they believed the suspects should be deported to their home nation for investigation, while 18 percent declined to express a stance or had no opinion, the poll showed.
The survey also sought to gauge respondents’ opinions on the government’s handling of Taiwanese fraud suspects operating overseas, who the poll said were either acquitted or received minor sentences after being deported to Taiwan.
The majority, or 61.6 percent, said such cases showed that there are problems with the nation’s legal system, 30.9 percent said they were indicators of the government’s incompetence and 22.2 percent said they constituted a disgrace to Taiwan.
About 13 percent of respondents said what matters most is ensuring the suspects return to Taiwan.
Turning to some politicians’ belief that the nation’s interests can only be served by the deportation of Taiwanese fraud suspects to Taiwan, 49.2 percent disagreed with such a perception, while 32.7 percent agreed.
The 32 Taiwanese were among a group of 52 Taiwanese arrested in Malaysia last month on suspicion of participating in telecom fraud.
Their deportation occurred two weeks after 20 suspects were sent back to Taiwan on April 15 and released shortly afterward due to a lack of evidence, a move criticized by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office as a disregard of the interests of fraud victims.
Prosecutors then detained 18 of the suspects incommunicado on April 21 and barred the other two from leaving the nation.
New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) said his party completely supports the idea of sending Taiwanese fraud suspects to China, given that most of the victims were Chinese and the government’s flippant handling of the 20 returned Taiwanese would only encourage fraudsters.
The poll collected 1,078 valid samples from Taiwanese aged 20 or older.
It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
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