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Jul 06, 2011, No. 049

  • Date:2011-07-06

14 Taiwan Nationals Deported to the Mainland by the Philippines

Return to Taiwan Today (July 6, 2011) to Face Justice,

Tangibly Realizing Cross-Strait Joint Crime Fighting

and Protecting the Rights of the People


        On February 2 this year, 14 persons from Taiwan were deported from the Philippines to the Mainland on suspicions of involvement in cross-border telecommunications fraud. After sustained efforts by related agencies, and through mechanisms established under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance, the Taiwan side actively communicated and coordinated with the Mainland side to secure the repatriation of the said criminal suspects to Taiwan today (July 6, 2011) to face judicial procedures.


        Communication and coordination on this case have helped establish mutual trust between the two sides, and they will in the future deepen cooperation on joint crime prevention based on this foundation. This will also ensure the rights and interests of the people on both sides and uphold the order of cross-strait exchanges.


        The Philippines deported the 14 Taiwan persons suspected of involvement in cross-border telecommunications fraud to the Mainland on Lunar New Year's Eve this year. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the National Police Agency, and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) immediately demanded through the agreement mechanisms and contact channels established between the SEF and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) that the Mainland side protect the legal rights of the 14 Taiwan suspects. They also demanded that the Mainland promptly repatriate the suspects back to Taiwan after completing the investigation procedures and hand over the related criminal case files. The Taiwan side requested as well, that the Mainland side provide the suspects' families with the courtesy of visiting according to provisions in the Agreement.


        This case involves cross-border telecommunications fraud. The suspects established a machine room in the Philippines and impersonated official agencies to perpetrate the fraud. The victims were Mainland residents in numerous provinces and cities, and the defrauded amount was over RMB$100 million. Both sides of the Strait paid much attention to this case. After several discussions among the MOJ, the National Police Agency, the MAC, the SEF, and the related agencies in the Mainland, the two sides agreed to cooperate on the foundation of the Agreement to uphold the spirit of joint crime-fighting and show goodwill and sincerity. The Taiwan families were also able to smoothly visit the suspects in Beijing due to assistance from the MOJ and the SEF in making arrangements with the Mainland side. On May 26, the Mainland side announced to the public that, in the cooperative spirit of the Agreement, the 14 suspects would be repatriated to Taiwan after the investigation procedures were completed. This was confirmed at the first Review Meeting on Cross-Strait Agreements' Results held on June 8 by the SEF and the ARATS.


        In order to highlight the government's resolve to severely punish and combat crime, the MOJ and the National Police Agency sent prosecutors and police personnel to the Mainland on several occasions during the course of discussing this case with the Mainland authorities to inspect criminal evidence. The Taiwan side also explained that, on the basis of the evidence, it would prosecute and severely punish the criminals according to the law. Today, the Mainland side repatriated the said 14 Taiwan persons under the Agreement and handed over the related case files to Taiwan, amply attesting to the major progress achieved through concrete implementation of joint crime fighting and protecting the rights and interests of the people on both sides. Moreover, it has an especially greater significance as it coincides with the second anniversary of the Agreement.


        Regarding the planning of the repatriation operation this time, the National Police Agency and the Mainland's Ministry of Public Security coordinated under the principles of security, speed, and convenience. The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) of the National Police Agency assigned and sent an advance working group to Beijing on July 4 to handle affairs related to the handover of the case files. This morning (July 6, 2011), it again sent other service personnel to the Mainland to meet with the working group. At today, the personnel took the suspects into custody, and the 14 suspects were flown back to Taiwan on a China Airlines flight. After the CIB brings the suspects back and completes the preliminary investigation and interrogation, the whole case will be handed over to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for follow-up judicial investigation and trial procedures.


        Since the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement came into effect, cross-strait cooperation on joint crime fighting has continued to show results. Consequently, criminals on the two sides have gradually moved to the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries to perpetrate crime. According to the statistics, since the Agreement came into effect, active cooperation between law enforcement agencies on the two sides on combating telecommunications and internet fraud crimes has resulted in the busting of 24 major cross-border fraud rings and the arrest of 2,120 criminal suspects. The number of telecommunications and internet fraud crimes taking place in the Taiwan Area fell from 38,802 in 2009 to 28,494 in 2010, a 26.57% reduction. The amount of defrauded funds in the same period fell sharply by over NT$4.1 billion. These figures clearly demonstrate the outstanding results from implementing the Agreement. Moreover, the police authorities of the two sides and other Southeast Asian nations recently carried out a joint crime-fighting investigation—code-named "0310," which netted the arrest of 692 suspects. This has benchmark significance in directly combating fraud crimes.


        Criminal cases taking place in third countries involve the handling of competing/cooperating jurisdictions, and the focus is on how to effectively extend the reach of the law and bring the involved criminal suspects to justice. In the future, the related agencies of the two sides will continue to cooperate on joint crime fighting and deepen mutual assistance under the Agreement. In handling criminal cases involving third countries, the law enforcement agencies of the two sides will discuss the appropriate treatment of involved persons according to the circumstances and based on the principles of mutual respect, protecting the innocent, and punishing the guilty, so as to protect the life and property rights and interests of the people on both sides.