Focus Taiwan App
Download

Woman detained for smuggling ROC passports to Chinese in Europe

04/12/2024 07:14 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Taiwan passports are exhibited as evidence by Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau on Friday. Alongside the passports are other items such as an envelope used to smuggle the passports out of Taiwan for illegal use. April 12, 2024
Taiwan passports are exhibited as evidence by Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau on Friday. Alongside the passports are other items such as an envelope used to smuggle the passports out of Taiwan for illegal use. April 12, 2024

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) A woman has been arrested on suspicion of colluding with international human trafficking rings to smuggle Republic of China (Taiwan) passports to Chinese citizens traveling in Europe.

The 46-year-old suspect, identified by her last name Zheng (鄭), is accused of illegally acquiring ROC passports and selling them for a profit to human trafficking rings based overseas, the CIB said during a press conference on Friday.

Yang Kuo-sung (楊國松), head of the CIB's International Criminal Affairs Division, said a probe was launched after European law enforcement agencies alerted local authorities about Chinese citizens entering and exiting their borders holding suspiciously altered ROC passports in September last year.

According to the CIB, Zheng is a former Chinese spouse who gained ROC citizenship through marriage. After divorcing, she subsequently moved to work at a hostess bar in Yilan County.

While there, Zheng teamed up with a man surnamed Lai (賴) to post job and loan ads on Facebook offering to buy passports from people in Taiwan for which they would be paid between NT$7,000 (US$216) and NT$10,000, the CIB said.

Zheng would then contact human trafficking rings in China through WeChat which would give her an address in Europe to send the passport to, the CIB said, adding that she received more than NT$10,000 for each travel document sent.

A member of CIB explains the process of smuggling Taiwanese passports for illegal use in Europe on Friday. CNA photo April 12, 2024
A member of CIB explains the process of smuggling Taiwanese passports for illegal use in Europe on Friday. CNA photo April 12, 2024

The illegal activities were carried out between September 2023 and March during which time Zheng is accused of selling around 50 ROC passports, the CIB added.

During recent raids carried out in Yilan, police arrested Zheng, Lai and seven other suspects linked to the case.

During questioning, Zheng confessed to the crime but reacted violently when asked whether she had been commissioned to do so or whether she did it to harm Taiwan's national security.

Zheng, along with Lai and the seven other suspects, are currently being investigated on suspicion of contravening the Passport Act and the case has been handed to the Yilan District Prosecutors Office.

A court has since granted a request by prosecutors for Zheng and Lai to be detained, while the seven other suspects have been released on bail.

(By Liu Chien-pang and Ko Lin)

Enditem/kb

    0:00
    /
    0:00
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.
    172.30.142.19