Dec 18, 2017

Taiwan: Government Condemns Spain’s Decision to Send Nationals Suspected in Fraud Case Back to China

        Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

The decision of Spain’s National Court to hand over 121 suspects of a fraud case to China, despite many of them being Taiwanese citizens, has drawn severe condemnation from the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC). Taiwan requested for the Taiwanese suspects to be returned to Taiwan, however the Spanish authorities did not respond to the request, instead promising to send them to China under a bilateral judicial assistance accord. The MAC stated it would observe the situation closely and called on China to cooperate on the investigation into the fraud so that the Taiwanese suspects can return home.

Below is an article written by focustaiwan

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) criticized the decision of Spain's National Court on Friday [15 December 2017] to send 121 suspects in a telecoms fraud cause, all of whom are Chinese and Taiwanese nationals, to Mainland China 

In a statement issued on Saturday, the MAC condemned the decision, calling it a ploy by China to suppress Taiwan on the international stage.

The MAC reiterated that together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Criminal Investigation Bureau, it would continue to monitor the situation and called on China to cooperate on an investigation into the alleged telecoms fraud so that the arrested Taiwan nationals can be returned to Taiwan as soon as possible.

Spanish authorities arrested a total of 269 individuals for suspected telecoms fraud totalling up to $12 million euros late last year, with 218 identified as Taiwanese nationals.

Although Taiwan asked for the Taiwanese suspects to be returned, the Spanish authorities did not respond to said request having already promised to send all 269 suspects to China under a bilateral judicial assistance accord.

In its Friday decision to send the first batch of suspects to China, the Spanish National Court ruled against claims by lawyers representing the Taiwanese suspects that "Taiwan is not a part of China" which means that these individuals should not be sent there.

The identities of the 121 suspects who will now be extradited have not been confirmed, so the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Madrid is currently unable to confirm how many are Taiwan nationals, it told CNA.

TECO is monitoring the situation and will offer assistance to Taiwanese suspects and their families.