Taiwan pushes for Interpol inclusion as fugitive arrested in Philippines

10/27/2021 05:52 PM
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The 45-year-old fugitive, surnamed Yang, who was arrested in the Philippines, is seen sitting in this undated photo. Photo courtesy of Taiwan
The 45-year-old fugitive, surnamed Yang, who was arrested in the Philippines, is seen sitting in this undated photo. Photo courtesy of Taiwan's representative office in the Philippines.

Manila, Oct. 27 (CNA) Taiwan's representative office in Manila has used the arrest of a Taiwanese fugitive suspected of drug trafficking in the Philippines to call for the country's inclusion in Interpol.

The 45-year-old fugitive, surnamed Yang, was arrested in a joint Taipei-Manila police operation after he was involved in other criminal offenses in the Philippines, and he will be deported back to Taiwan, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines said Wednesday.

Yang, suspected of ketamine trafficking and violating the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act, fled to the Philippines in 2012, and the New Taipei District Prosecutors Office issued an arrest warrant for him in 2014, the office said.

Acting on a tip-off in July of Yang's alleged involvement in domestic violence, Philippine police in the town of Tanza in Cavite province arrested Yang on Oct. 20, but he was later released on 2,000 Philippine peso (about NT$1,095) bail, the office indicated.

Through the joint efforts of the two countries' police, judicial and immigration authorities, the Philippines' Bureau of Immigration took Yang into custody on Oct. 25 for overstaying his visa and being a suspected fugitive, the office said.

He was then transferred to a detention center for foreign nationals to wait to be deported.

After the fugitive was arrested, the office appealed for Taiwan's membership in Interpol, the global body that promotes international cooperation in fighting crime, to prevent cases such as Yang's from occurring in the future.

It did not elaborate, however, on how Taiwan's participation in Interpol would have prevented or changed the course or outcome of Yang's case.

The office said more generally that because Taiwan is not a member of Interpol, it could not share information on criminals who have fled the country on Interpol's I-24/7 global secure communications system.

Taiwan has only 13 police liaison officers who have established communication channels with the countries where they are stationed, and it hoped to expand cooperation with law enforcement authorities in more countries by participating in Interpol operations, the office said.

(By Chen Yan-chun and Evelyn Kao)

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