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Navy petty officer indicted for leaking intelligence to China

07/09/2024 07:05 PM
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Taipei, July 9 (CNA) A Navy petty officer first class has been indicted for leaking military intelligence to China in exchange for NT$170,000 (US$5,220), the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office said Tuesday.

The petty officer, surnamed Chen (陳), was accused of using his position at the Navy Recruit Training Center to secretly photograph classified military personnel, training, and base information via cellphone in Yilan and Pingtung counties from April 2022 to February 2023, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Chen started sharing the information with a "Chinese business manager" surnamed Zhang (張) at the latter's request via instant online communication tools like LINE and Telegram on four occasions since 2022.

Chen began the practice after meeting Zhang in an online loan group in 2022, driven by financial pressure from debt, prosecutors said.

Chen was indicted on June 24 for violations of both the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces and the Anti-Corruption Act, according to the office.

In response to the case, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Chinese infiltration efforts have posed a heightened threat to the military in recent years, comparable in severity to missile and naval attacks.

The case was uncovered by military security personnel during anti-espionage operations, MND spokesman Major General Sun Li-fang (孫立方) said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The fact so many espionage cases have been detected underscores the effectiveness of Taiwan's counter-infiltration education, he said.

(By Matt Yu, Hsieh Hsing-en and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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