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Ex-naval officer arrested on charges of spying for China

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/29 13:39:08

Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) A retired naval officer has been arrested on suspicion of collecting classified information for China, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Monday.

According to a ministry statement, military prosecutors had begun investigating Commander Chang Chih-hsin, a former head of the political warfare division at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Office, even before his retirement earlier this year.

Chinese intelligence staff made contact with Chang through unidentified intermediaries during his service at the Naval METOC Office, the MND statement said.

Naval authorities adopted anti-espionage measures as soon as they were tipped off about Chang's spying plan and transferred the case to the Military Prosecutors Office for further investigation after acquiring initial evidence, the statement said.

Military spokesman Luo Shou-he said earlier in the day that Chang and several other retired military officers have been arrested on suspicion of espionage, and that the military has taken various damage control steps.

Meanwhile, the MND statement rebutted media reports that Chang provided China with classified submarine nautical charts or hydrographical and hydrological data about the waters surrounding Taiwan.

As the case was nipped in the bud and naval authorities were quick to take anti-espionage steps, the statement said, Chang was not privy to classified information during his service at the Naval METOC Office.

It also denied that any officer in active service is involved in the case.

According to a front-page report in the Apple Daily's Monday edition, Chang and seven other retired military officers have been arrested and were indicted in September on charges of leaking classified submarine nautical charts and war plans to China.

It is the latest in a string of espionage cases reported in recent years and involves the largest number of suspects for a single case, the report said.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Sofia Wu)

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