Gangster receives 18 months for attempted espionage

10/01/2020 04:55 PM
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Image for illustrative purpose only (source: Pixabay.com)
Image for illustrative purpose only (source: Pixabay.com)

Taipei, Oct. 1 (CNA) A known member of the Tian Tao Meng gang who fled to China after being involved in an unlawful death case in Taiwan, and was recruited to spy for Beijing while there, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for attempting to acquire military intelligence by the Taiwan High Court Wednesday.

The man, identified by his surname Lin (林), was found guilty of violating the National Intelligence Services Act, Criminal Code and Anti-Corruption Act, according to the high court.

In a statement, the high court said while in China Lin met a Chinese national, identified only as A-hao, who persuaded him to engage in espionage activities in Taiwan.

In August 2018, Lin approached a "shareholder" in his company, also surnamed Lin (林), and asked him to collect information from a military agency in Taiwan, with financial assistance from A-hao, the high court said.

"Shareholder" Lin then sought out the assistance of another "shareholder" surnamed Chang (張), in an effort to secure the information.

In November 2018, Chang offered an official working at an unspecified military agency a monthly stipend of NT$30,000 (US$1,000) in exchange for confidential information. Although Chang paid the man NT$50,000 in installments, he never received any information, the high court said.

In the ruling, the high court said A-hao subsequently gave Lin 45,000 renminbi (NT$199,350) to continue to bribe the aforementioned official, but the plan failed.

Despite the failure to secure confidential military information, and Lin's admission, the high court said his actions were detrimental to national security.

However, as Lin acknowledged his wrongdoing and did not succeed in acquiring any information, the sentence was reduced to 18 months, with his civil rights suspended for two years and NT$199,350 confiscated, the high court said.

Meanwhile, the two "shareholders" Lin and Chang are already serving jail terms of three years and 22 months respectively having been earlier convicted.

Lin was deported by Chinese authorities allegedly because they considered him of no value after the two "shareholders" were arrested by Taiwanese authorities.

The charges against him in the unlawful killing of a rival Bamboo Union gang member were subsequently dropped.

(By Flor Wang and Liu Shih-yi)

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