94 telecom fraud suspects extradited to China from Spain

Madrid/Beijing – A group of 94 suspects, escorted by Chinese police, flew to Beijing from Spain on Friday morning, the first ever delivery of Chinese telecom fraud suspects on this scale from Europe.

The 94 individuals, all from Taiwan, were among the 237 suspects detained in Spain in a three-year joint operation against cross-border telecom fraud, said the Ministry of Public Security in a press release.

A total of 225 suspects have been handed over to Chinese police, the ministry said, adding that 218 of them were from Taiwan.

The joint operation started in 2016 based on the leads from initial investigations into several serious telecom fraud cases in China, each of which implicated at least 10 million yuan (1.45 million U.S. dollars) of funds.

Chinese and Spanish police launched a joint raid on Dec. 13, 2016 on 13 locations in Spain, detaining the suspects and seizing a large amount of evidence. Funds worth of 120 million yuan were involved in the cases.

China submitted an application for extradition in January 2017, and a Spanish court agreed to extradite all suspects detained in the joint operation to China after about two years of hearing.

The joint operation has been the first between China and a European country against telecom fraud and the largest and most successful of the country’s international operations against telecom fraud, according to the ministry.

“The joint operation indicated the determination and confidence shared by police of the two countries in fighting crime and protecting people’s lives and properties,” the statement said.

The ministry pledged to enhance international cooperation and continue to crack down on telecom fraud. (Xinhua)