39 Taiwanese arrested in Spain for involvement in telecom fraud
Taipei, Dec. 15 (CNA) Thirty-nine Taiwanese nationals were confirmed as of Thursday morning to have been arrested for their involvement in telecom fraud in Spain, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
News reports said Spanish police raided more than 10 locations earlier in the week after months of investigation, arresting nearly 240 Chinese and Taiwanese fraud suspects.
The ministry has instructed its representative office in Madrid to help the Taiwanese suspects being questioned by Spanish police, based on the principles of reciprocity, dignity and upholding human rights.
According to Wang Chih-hua (王之化), an information chief at the representative office, the investigation is still ongoing, and the number of suspects is expected to increase.
He said that after the suspects arrived in Spain, they rented villas, and then carried out the fraud by posing as law enforcement personnel in phone calls to Chinese people, swindling them to the tune of 16 million euros (US$16.82 million)
Wang said his office will help family members visit the Taiwanese suspects in Spain if required.
He said that some of the suspects have been turned over to the judicial authorities, but Spanish police declined to disclose the results of their investigation.
Wang dismissed reports that Beijing is trying to extradite the suspects to China, saying that the process has not yet reached that stage.
(By Tang Pei-chun, Emmnuelle Tseng and Lilian Wu)ENDITEM/J
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