Taiwan seeks deportation of suspects to face charges
The Taiwanese government is seeking the deportation of the foreign nationals who were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) for alleged online fraud in Cebu City.
Speaking to reporters, the police attaché of Taiwan said they have a law which considers as felony any unlawful act committed in another country.
“They will face a more severe penalty in Taiwan. This would serve as an example for those who are trying to commit a wrongdoing in other countries,” he said in an interview at the NBI-7 office yesterday.
The police attaché, who requested not to be identified for security purposes, said online fraud when committed outside Taiwan is a non-bailable offense.
For the past five years, he said about 500 Taiwanese nationals were arrested in the Philippines for online fraud.
All of them were deported to Taiwan and were charged accordingly.
Last Monday, NBI-7 arrested 24 foreign nationals who allegedly extorted money from retired and active government officials in Taiwan through phone calls and online transactions.
After thorough interrogation, the NBI-7 found out that only 19 of the suspects were Taiwanese. The five other suspects, the bureau said, are mainland Chinese nationals.
It was earlier reported that all 24 suspects were Taiwanese.
NBI-7 Director Patricio Bernales said they will file charges against the suspects for violating Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 before the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office.
“We are actually processing the documents. Even if they will deported, they will still face a case here in Cebu,” he said.
It is, however, unclear how the case will prosper in the Philippines and how the court could acquire jurisdiction over the foreigners if they are deported to face charges in Taiwan.
Bernales said the NBI-7 is coordinating with the Bureau of Immigration which has jurisdiction over foreign nationals who may be deported to their country of origin.
“We are trying to look into the contents of the computers that we recovered from the suspect. From there we will know more about their operations,” he said.
Armed with a search warrant, the agents together with operatives from the National Police Agency of Taipei City and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, barged into a five-story house rented by the suspects inside Buena Hills Subdivision in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City past noon on Monday.
Seized from the suspects’ possession were several computers, tablets, laptops, and mobile phones.
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