The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is “making a show” of efforts to rescue people caught up in human trafficking in Cambodia and the party is obstructing police procedures, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday at the Green Dining Guide’s annual awards ceremony in Taipei, adding that all groups should be working together to resolve the issue.
KMT legislators Cheng Cheng-chien (鄭正鈐), Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) and Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) on Wednesday flew to Cambodia to meet with a 19-year-old Taiwanese man surnamed Chen (陳) who was allegedly trafficked.
Chen flew back to Taiwan with the lawmakers on Thursday.
The group was met at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Thursday night by the head of the Aviation Police Bureau and other officers based at the airport, who took Chen away for questioning and to undergo quarantine, resulting in a disagreement between the officers and the legislators.
The National Police Agency on Thursday issued a statement following the incident, in which it expressed “regret that officers would be unreasonably obstructed while investigating a human-trafficking case.”
The KMT at a news conference criticized the officers and the government, saying it would “hold an international news conference soon to expose the incident to the world and ask the international community for comment.”
KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) said that the legislators went to Cambodia to “understand the situation facing Taiwanese trafficking victims in Cambodia, and to work with Taiwanese businesspeople operating in the country to rescue victims.”
Tseng praised the lawmakers for their “hard work, dedication and real contributions” to solving the issue.
“Cheng drove 10 hours in the middle of the night on Wednesday to rescue Chen, who was trapped in Cambodia’s Kampot Province,” he said. “The aviation police just dragged Chen away when he arrived at the airport and did not let him speak with the media.”
Tseng said that Chen had no criminal record in Taiwan and asked why the officers were so “eager” to question him.
“The legislators were told at the scene that it was quarantine procedures, but a later news release refuted that claim,” he said. “If Chen had been brought home by Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] legislators, would he have been taken away like that?”
Tseng accused the DPP of “bullying and discrediting the KMT,” and demanded that the Ministry of the Interior and the aviation police commissioner apologize.
The DPP should do more to rescue Taiwanese trafficking victims, Cheng said.
“Although we rescued one victim, there are still hundreds more in Cambodia,” he said. “If KMT legislators can do it, surely the DPP can.”
Additional reporting by Yang Yuan-ting
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