TAIPEI – Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry expressed its concern over the decision by Spanish authorities to extradite two of its citizens to China, according to a statement on Thursday.
The two Taiwanese citizens are accused of telecom fraud committed in Spain against Chinese citizens.
The Taiwanese government urged Spain to cooperate through mutual legal assistance rather than violating principles of humanitarianism and human rights.
Taiwan said its citizens should be repatriated to the island according the principles of jurisdiction of a country over its citizens, denying that China had any legal authority over them, and announced tougher sanctions for those who are repatriated due to fraud cases.
The two Taiwanese citizens, whose extradition was approved on May 11 by the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional), were a part of a group of 269 Chinese and Taiwanese citizens detained in Spain in 2016 on suspicions of telephone fraud against Chinese citizens, in a joint operation between the Spanish and Chinese police.
The telephone fraud network operated from Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante, and its members posed as public security officers, public prosecutors and other judicial officials asking for money in exchange for releasing victims early from supposed jail terms.