Taipei-- Indonesia on Thursday deported 143 Chinese and Taiwanese fraud suspects who were arrested during an extensive crackdown by Indonesian police in late July to China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, expressing "serious concern" over the case.
In a statement, the ministry also expressed "deep regret" over the issue, urging the Indonesian government to protect the rights of Taiwanese citizens.
Citing information obtained by Taiwan's representative offices in Jakarta and Surabaya, the ministry said that Indonesian police, in cooperation with China, apprehended the 143 telecom fraud suspects from China and Taiwan during raids in four places -- Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali and Batam -- on July 29.
The suspects include 22 from Taiwan, the ministry said.
Upon learning of the incident, the ministry ordered Taiwanese diplomats stationed in Indonesia to make every effort to ask the Indonesian authorities to deport the Taiwanese suspects back to Taiwan to face justice.
However, Indonesia refused to provide Taiwan with further information on the case, saying that it was China that offered the information to help break the case, the ministry said.
The ministry said that all 143 suspects were put on two different China Southern Airlines flights to Chengdu and Tianjin.
There have been several cases in which Taiwanese nationals arrested overseas for alleged involvement in telecom fraud have been deported to China to face justice there, with Beijing arguing that the victims were all Chinese nationals or that it provided information that helped crack the cases.
Before Thursday's deportations, the most recent example was of three Taiwanese nationals arrested by the Cambodian authorities in July for alleged involvement in telecom fraud who were deported to China on July 29.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel