China jails 29 Taiwanese deported from Spain for fraud

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Dec 31, 2020, 12:57 PM(IST)

Taiwan and China national flags Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In recent years, hundreds of Taiwanese suspected of telecom fraud have been deported to China, sometimes forcibly, from countries including Kenya, Cambodia and Armenia, according to the Taiwan government. China has defended the deportations.

A court in China sentenced 29 people from Taiwan who had been deported from Spain to up to 14 years in jail on Thursday. They were charged with telecoms fraud, state media said.

In recent years, hundreds of Taiwanese suspected of telecom fraud have been deported to China, sometimes forcibly, from countries including Kenya, Cambodia and Armenia, according to the Taiwan government. China has defended the deportations.

In the latest judgement, the court in Beijing ruled that the suspects had defrauded people living in China by calling them from their base in Spain and claiming to be Chinese law enforcement officials. A total of 14 victims were defrauded out of more than 6.17 million yuan ($941,985).

China claims democratically and separately governed Taiwan as its own territory, with no right to be treated as a country.

The deportations have arisen from the "one-China" policy of most countries under which they maintain formal relations only with the People's Republic of China rather than Taiwan, with governments deciding to send them to China for trial.

Taiwan has complained about a lack of due process and expressed concern about mistreatment of its people in Chinese jails.

Chinese authorities have sought to contain an explosion of telecom crime it says has led to huge financial losses, with callers often impersonating officials or authority figures and preying on the elderly, students or the unemployed.

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