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December, 4, 2016

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Gov't protests after Malaysia deports suspects to China

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan lodged a strong protest with Malaysia Tuesday after it sent 21 Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects to China, saying that the Malaysian move violated the principle of "national jurisdiction."

The 21 Taiwanese, along with six Chinese nationals, were arrested by Malaysian police Oct. 27 on charges of operating a fraud ring that swindled money from victims in China and elsewhere using international communication tools and Internet technology.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Taiwan had worked closely with the Malaysian authorities on follow-up investigations, hoping that Malaysia would repatriate the Taiwanese suspects to Taiwan after initial probes had been completed.

Instead, under strong pressure from China, Malaysia sent the Taiwanese suspects to China earlier in the day, in disregard of Taiwan's repeated requests, according to MOFA.

By doing so, Malaysia has "seriously damaged Taiwanese rights and interests" and has "hurt the longstanding friendship between the peoples of the two countries," MOFA said.

At the same time that it was protesting against Malaysia, MOFA said that the government has also demanded the Ministry of Justice and the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) to use the cross-Taiwan Strait agreement on judicial mutual assistance and joint efforts to combat crime to get in touch with the Chinese authorities.

"We are demanding that China send the Taiwanese suspects back to Taiwan, where they will face justice," said MOFA.

It also urged Taiwanese people not to "try their luck" by committing cross-border fraud overseas.

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