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Taiwanese still detained in Bangladesh over calls

TAIPEI -- Thirty-two Taiwanese nationals are still being detained in Bangladesh after they were arrested in late December, accused of violating the South Asian country's telecommunications regulations by operating Internet telephony equipment without a license, an official said Thursday.

The Bangladeshi authorities are still investigating the case, said Bob Chen, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at a regular news briefing.

The arrested individuals will remain in detention while the investigation continues, he said.

In response to questions from the local media, Chen said Taiwan's representative office in India sent an official to Bangladesh to look deeper into the case and gain more information shortly after the arrests were made.

Taiwan does not have a representative office in Bangladesh.

In late December, police arrested the 32 Taiwanese nationals, along with five Chinese nationals and two Bangladeshis following a raid on an illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) operation that allows cheap international phone calls to be made, according to foreign reports.

The suspects, mostly in their twenties and thirties, did not have work permits or licenses to operate Internet telecom equipment, the reports said.

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