Former Air Force captain sentenced for attempted espionage

2017/05/16 19:12:33 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(Picture downloaded from Pixabay)

(Picture downloaded from Pixabay)

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) The Taiwan High Court on Tuesday handed down a sentence of three and a half years to a former Air Force captain for attempting to suborn military personnel into leaking sensitive intelligence after being recruited by China.

Chen Kuo-wei (陳國瑋) was found guilty of violating the National Intelligence Services Act and Anti-corruption Act, the court said.

The ruling can still be appealed.

The court noted that Chen had served in the military after graduating from the ROC Air Force Academy in 1993 until his discharge in 2011. He engaged in business in China in 2015 and opened a restaurant in Shanghai.

At that time, Chen provided a channel for Taiwan's intelligence service to remit money to the account of a Taiwanese agent, but he was picked up by China's Ministry of National Security and recruited. At that point Chen was instructed to return to Taiwan and collect sensitive intelligence for the Chinese security service.

On returning, Chen contacted active and retired military officers, among them some from the Military Intelligence Bureau under the Ministry of National Defense and the latter immediately reported the matter to the bureau.

Having returned to Taiwan from Shanghai in late September, Chen was arrested in early October and has been held since then.

Chen admitted to collecting intelligence and attempting to bribe agents in the Military Intelligence Bureau, but insisted he is not a spy.

The court said Chen was trained and cultivated by the country, but had been recruited by China to engage in espionage. However, as his activities were detected early national security had not been compromised.

(By Liu Shih-yi and Lilian Wu)

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