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Taiwanese fraud suspect may be seeking asylum to avoid charges: lawyer

2019/01/11 18:12:19

Lady Nai Nai (Image taken

Toronto, Jan. 10 (CNA) The application by fugitive Taiwanese blogger Su Chen-tuan (蘇陳端), better known as Lady Nai Nai (貴婦奈奈), for refugee status in Canada may be an attempt to avoid prosecution on fraud charges in Taiwan, a Canadian lawyer said Thursday.

Immigration lawyer John Lee (栗鈞) told CNA it typically takes seven to eight months before a refugee applicant could obtain a court hearing and another one or two years before a decision is issued.

During that time, the applicant is entitled to welfare benefits, including free medical care, Lee said.

In Su's case, her application is likely to be rejected by Canada's Refugee Protection Division (RPD) but she would still have the right to file several appeals, which could take years, he said.

Canada defines a refugee as someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence, and has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

Su is wanted by Taiwanese authorities, along with her cosmetic surgeon husband Paul Huang (黃博健) and father-in-law Huang Li-hsiung (黃立雄), for allegedly defrauding investors in the Ab Initio Medicina clinic of some NT$1 billion (US$32 million).

The trio fled to the United States in November and entered Canada on Jan. 5 with two other family members.

Although they were intercepted by Canadian immigration, they were released because immigration officers did not have sufficient reason to hold them.

While Paul Huang is a permanent resident of Canada, Su and Huang Li-hsiung reportedly entered Canada on visitor visas that would allow them to remain for up to six months. They immediately filed an application for refugee status, apparently to prolong their stay there.

Taiwan's National Immigration Agency said it has informed the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that the three Taiwanese are wanted in Taiwan but it cannot take further action because there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.

(By Hu Yu-li and Chi Jo-yao)