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Kenya Incident: Officials Say Mainland Acts Following Legal Practices

icon2016/04/13
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 Kenya Incident: Officials Say Mainland Acts Following Legal Practices

 
Source: All Taipei newspapers    April 13, 2016
 
The Kenya government has allowed the Mainland to bring to Beijing a total of 45 fraud suspects of ROC nationality, including eight on April 16, involved in phone scams targeting citizens on the Mainland, drawing intense local media attention.   
 
During an interpellation session in the Legislative Yuan yesterday, Tai Tung-li (戴東麗), deputy director of the Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs under the Ministry of Justice, stated that the Taiwanese suspects involved in the case had been acquitted by a Kenyan court on charges of operating a telecommunications business without a license.  
 
Tai stated that the Taiwanese suspects were later sent to the Mainland, upon the request of Beijing, for fraud involving phone scams based on the principle of place of commission of the crime, adding that the Mainland acted in conformity with the principle on jurisdiction in the handling of international criminal cases.   
  
Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) stated yesterday that the Mainland’s Ministry of Public Security welcomed Taiwan to send people to the Mainland to get a better understanding of the case, but had not yet suggested a specific date. However, Chen added that he believed that the Justice Ministry could do so in the near future.   
 
Chen stated, “If we have jurisdiction over the case, of course, we will ask the Mainland side to repatriate the Taiwanese fraud suspects to Taiwan for prosecution and trial. If not, we will have to wait for the final verdict of the Mainland court, after which can we request the Mainland to repatriate them to Taiwan. The authorities will then determine whether they violated any ROC laws.”   
 
According to media reports, multiple cases of phone scams had been reported in Beijing, Zhejiang Province, and other places in the Mainland. The police in the Mainland discovered that the communications signals originated in Kenya, so they asked for assistance from the Kenyan police to arrest the suspects from Taiwan and the Mainland found in Kenya. The illicit gains from the recent phone scams are estimated to total approximately NT$ 500 million (US$15.6 million), according to the Mainland police.    
 
Chen explained yesterday that if the victims in the phone scams included ROC citizens, the ROC also had jurisdiction over the case, adding that under such circumstances, Taiwan could request the Mainland to send the Taiwanese suspects home. “In 2011, Mainland China agreed to repatriate 14 suspects of ROC nationality who the Philippine government deported to the Mainland in a cross-border fraud case, after being detained for four months on the Mainland.” stated Chen. 
 
However, Chen stated that the preliminary investigation showed that the international fraud ring only targeted Mainland Chinese, and that there were no Taiwanese victims. “In spite of this, we will still send people to the Mainland to learn more about the case. In the past, Taiwanese suspects in similar cases were repatriated to Taiwan, but were later released because we had no jurisdiction. Therefore, this time we should be more cautious in dealing with the case,” stressed Chen.  
 

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