Taiwan fraud suspects 'confess' on China state TV

Pictures of Taiwanese nationals deported from Kenya to China are displayed on a monitor during legislator's inquiry on into incident in Taipei, Taiwan, on April 14, 2016.
Pictures of Taiwanese nationals deported from Kenya to China are displayed on a monitor during legislator's inquiry on into incident in Taipei, Taiwan, on April 14, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING/TAIPEI • Chinese state television has aired confessions by two Taiwanese fraud suspects who were among dozens deported from Kenya to China, while Taiwan has said that it will send officials to China to discuss the case, which has infuriated Taipei.

Taiwan has said that China effectively kidnapped its nationals. However, Kenya does not have official relations with the democratic, self- ruled island, and considers it part of "one China", in line with the position of Communist Party leaders in Beijing. Nairobi said the 77 suspects, 45 of whom were from Taiwan, were in Kenya illegally and were being sent back to their point of origin.

Yesterday, Chinese state TV aired a video of two men with blurred-out faces, confessing to impersonating police while committing telecom fraud in China.

"I now know that carrying out these scams is wrong, and I will accept the punishment of the law," said one suspect surnamed Jian.

China's Ministry of Public Security said the group detained in Kenya had operated out of Nairobi and was suspected of cheating people of millions of yuan across China. As most of the victims were in China, it said, the suspects would be prosecuted there.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said it had received another letter from China inviting members to visit, so it will send a delegation on Monday to talk about the issue.

In Malaysia, Taiwan and China are engaged in another tug of war, over 52 Taiwanese suspects arrested last month during five raids linked to telecom fraud. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 20 of them were put on a flight back to Taiwan yesterday.

Taiwanese Premier Chang San-cheng said China was seeking the deportation from Malaysia of the dozens of Taiwanese suspects.

In Indonesia, 31 Taiwanese were arrested over alleged involvement in cyber fraud, and they will not be taken to China, Taiwanese Foreign Affairs Minister David Lin was cited as saying on Wednesday by the Central News Agency.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline 'Taiwan fraud suspects 'confess' on China state TV'. Print Edition | Subscribe