A total of 13 Taiwanese citizens have been arrested in Cambodia on suspicion of telecom fraud and Taiwan will seek their repatriation once Cambodian authorities decide to deport them, according to Taiwanese officials.
Taiwan's representative office in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, which neighbors Cambodia, has confirmed that 13 Taiwanese nationals, including 12 men, were among 60-plus people arrested recently by Cambodian authorities over alleged involvement in telecom fraud. Those arrested included several people from China.
The Taiwanese suspects are being detained in Phnom Penh as questioning is still ongoing, said officials with the office, adding that they will seek to bring these suspects to Taiwan once Cambodia decides to deport them. Taiwan does not have a representative office in Cambodia.
It was reported earlier that 12 Taiwanese were arrested but after Liang Kuang-chung (???), head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City, went to Cambodia Aug. 31 to learn about more details on the case, he discovered that the exact number of Taiwanese suspects was 13.
There have been concerns over whether Beijing will pressure Cambodia to deport the Taiwanese suspects to China by claiming that the victims were Chinese people.
The case followed the arrest of another 18 Taiwanese suspects in Cambodia in June on suspicion of telecom fraud, who were deported to China later that month, triggering protests from Taiwan.
China demanded Cambodia deport the Taiwanese suspects, who were arrested along with suspects from China, on the grounds that all the victims were Chinese citizens.
Several groups of Taiwanese allegedly involved in telecom fraud rings based in third countries, including those operating in Malaysia and Kenya, have been deported to China in recent months over the protests of Taiwan's government.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel