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Taiwanese businessman in China indicted for espionage

2012/05/15 20:24:45

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) The Taipei District Prosecutors Office indicted a Taiwanese businessman who works in China Tuesday for alleged involvement in a Chinese espionage attempt.

The suspect, named Cheng Min-chun, allegedly served as the middleman between Chinese intelligence officials and one of his former classmates, surnamed Tung, who is a military official, according to prosecutors.

Tung's full name was not disclosed by prosecutors due to the sensitive nature of the case.

The prosecutors were informed by the military authorities that Cheng had asked to meet Tung several times last year, and proposed to set Tung up in a meeting with people from China in a Southeast Asian country in exchange for cash.

Tung refused the proposal and reported the case to his superiors, the prosecutors said.

Investigation Bureau officials searched Cheng's office and home in Tainan April 18 and interrogated him and his Chinese wife, surnamed Pan, that same day. He was detained on the grounds that he was a flight risk.

Thanks to a referral from Tung, Cheng served as an assistant at Taiwan's Military Intelligence Bureau in 2003, according to the prosecutors.

He left that post and married Pan in China in July 2011. While there, he was contacted by Chinese intelligence officers who asked to be connected with Tung, according to the prosecutors.

They also noted that Cheng accepted between US$1,500 and US$3,000 from the Chinese officials in return for relaying their messages to Tung.

(By Liu Shih-yi and Ann Chen)