162 Taiwanese arrested in foreign countries in 2013: Foreign Ministry
By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
August 16, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A total of 162 R.O.C. nationals were arrested by authorities in foreign countries in 2013, most of them on charges of telecommunication fraud and drug-smuggling, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said. Roger Luo (羅添宏), deputy director-general of MOFA's Bureau of Consular Affairs, told local media that in the first seven months this year, there has already been a total of 131 Taiwanese arrested overseas.
The statistics show that a steadily rising number of Taiwanese have been found violating laws and regulations in foreign countries.
"Many of them were arrested in connection with telecommunication frauds," he noted.
Most of these cases involved Taiwanese working as fraudsters to engage in telephone scams in Asian countries.
He added that there has also been a rising number of Taiwanese nationals found engaging in drug-smuggling in foreign countries.
Cases have been reported in Australia and New Zealand recently as more and more Taiwanese youths are visiting these destinations under a Taiwan-Australia working holiday program, he said.
According to MOFA, Australia is Taiwan's No. 1 destination for working holidays with over 35,000 Taiwanese visiting the country under the scheme last year.
A recent case occurred last month when four Taiwanese men, aged between 20 and 29, were arrested and charged over the seizure of crystal methamphetamine in Australia.
Luo pointed out that drug-smuggling is a felony in many countries and an offender could face life-imprisonment or even the death penalty.
He reminded Taiwanese tourists to double check their luggage and make sure that they do not bring forbidden items into foreign countries, as well as to follow local laws when traveling overseas.