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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Phone scammers’ sent to China despite Taiwan's protests

Taiwanese nationals kneel on the ground last week before being deported to China for their involvement in a telecom scam. Photo supplied
Taiwanese nationals kneel on the ground last week before being deported to China for their involvement in a telecom scam. Photo supplied

‘Phone scammers’ sent to China despite Taiwan's protests

A group of Taiwanese nationals were bundled onto a plane and flown to China for prosecution on Friday for their involvement in an alleged telecom scam, according to an Interior Ministry immigration department official. The move came despite protests from the government of Taiwan.

“We sent 25 Taiwanese along with 14 mainland Chinese,” said Uk Hai Sela, chief investigator at the Ministry’s immigration department.

“They had committed crimes by extorting money in China through [voice over internet protocol] phone scams. . . . They pretended to be prosecutors, police and authorities in order to extort money from victims’ families.”

The pending deportation was last week decried by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with spokeswoman Frances Lee telling the Post her government “strongly opposes such action”. Lee did not respond to a request for comment on Friday’s deportations by press time.

Hai Sela yesterday reiterated that the government’s course had never allowed for the possibility of honouring Taiwan’s request to take custody of the prisoners from the island nation.

“The special airplane came to take them . . . We did not talk about politics . . . The victims were in China, and we implement a One China policy, therefore we sent them to China,” he explained.

The alleged scammers came to operate in Cambodia due to the country’s favourable internet speeds, Hai Sela added.

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