Taipei, March 16 (CNA) A retired military officer who was on the security detail of former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) was arrested Monday for spying for China, a local newspaper reported Thursday, citing unnamed investigators and law enforcement officers.
Major Wang Hong-ju (王鴻儒), 46, was allegedly recruited by China as a spy while he was doing business there after his retirement from the Special Service Command Center under the National Security Bureau (NSB), according to the report.
Wang was accused of creating spy rings for China and trying to persuade his former colleagues and Military Police Command officers to steal confidential information from their agencies, although his attempts failed, according to the report.
The report said Lo was arrested Monday on arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and was taken to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for questioning.
The prosecutors' office had obtained the warrant since last year to arrest Wang on charges of violating the National Security Act, according to the report.
On Tuesday, the report said, the Taoyuan District Court granted an order for Wang to be held incommunicado.
When asked about the matter Thursday, the Presidential Office declined to comment, except to say that the current presidential security detail comprises excellent, professional and highly patriotic officers.
"We cannot comment on a case under investigation," Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Lu said Wang had been assigned by the NSB as one of her bodyguards during the 2000 presidential campaign.
According to the Ministry of National Defense, the Investigation Bureau has found that all the individuals recently charged with spying are retired military officers and no active military personnel are involved.
On Thursday, the legislative caucus of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party proposed an amendment to the National Security Act to impose stiffer penalties for espionage crimes, and suggested increasing the maximum prison sentence for spying for China from less than five years to 3-10 years.
(By Sophia Yeh, Lu Hsin-hui, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Evelyn Kao)