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Taiwan to seek return of nationals taken to China from Kenya

ROC Central News Agency

2016/04/12 16:14:08

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) Taiwan will seek the return of several of its nationals deported by Kenya to China, even though Beijing has jurisdiction in a fraud investigation involving the Taiwan nationals because the alleged crimes targeted Chinese nationals, Taiwanese officials said Tuesday.

The eight Taiwanese sent to Beijing from Kenya were investigated for fraud by the Chinese authorities, which have jurisdiction because the crimes took place in China and the victims were Chinese, said Tai Tung-li (戴東麗), deputy head of the Ministry of Justice Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs.

According to Tai, the alleged fraud scheme made estimated illegal gains of NT$500 million (US$15.44 million).

Meanwhile, Chou Ming-jui (周鳴瑞), deputy head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Department of Legal Affairs, said Taiwan also has jurisdiction over its nationals and the council will negotiate with China so that the people detained in Beijing can be repatriated to Taiwan for trial by the Taiwanese judicial authorities.

The MAC will also ask Beijing for visitation rights for the families of the eight detained Taiwanese, and demand that China not extradite several other Taiwanese arrested in Kenya for similar offense, Chou added.

The eight Taiwanese were put on a flight to China April 8, after they were acquitted by a Kenyan court for illegal telecom operations and organized crime, for which they were arrested in November 2014. However, the Chinese authorities want them charged in China, with fraud.

The eight people were among 28 Taiwanese accused of being members of a fraud ring that was busted in Kenya in 2014 for defrauding people concentrated in Beijing and in Zhejiang Province in China.

A total of 76 Chinese and Taiwanese were arrested for illegal entry and alleged involvement in telecommunications fraud. Of the 76, 23 Taiwanese and 14 Chinese were acquitted on April 5.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Kenya police brandished submachine guns and tear gas to force another 37 Taiwan nationals to board a plane bound for China on Tuesday. They included 22 phone fraud suspects who were arrested on April 8 and the remaining 15 who were acquitted on April 5.

(By Wang Cheng-chung, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Kay Liu)
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