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Joint cross-Straits actions only way to curb scams

Updated: 2016-04-21 07:17
(China Daily)

Joint cross-Straits actions only way to curb scams

Suspects involved in telecom swindle cases are escorted off an aircraft by the police at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, Nov 10, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

The visit by Taiwan judicial officials to the mainland, which started on Wednesday, was the first step in the right direction for the joint cross-Straits fight against telecommunication fraud.

It came after some political forces on the island had made a public outcry following Kenya's repatriation to the mainland of 45 fraud suspects from the island last week. These forces accused the mainland of using the event to dwarf Taiwan both politically and judicially.

But Kenya's repatriation was in accordance with international law, as almost all victims of the suspects' fraudulent activities live on the mainland.

Politicizing such criminal cases serves neither side any good. It damages the trust built over the years between the two sides through cooperation in joint crackdowns on crimes, and gives the world the impression that Taiwan is a safe haven for fraudsters.

Such an impression is not unfounded. On Saturday, when 20 fraud suspects were repatriated from Malaysia to Taiwan, as sought by some politicians on the island, they were immediately released by police upon arrival at the airport due to "a lack of evidence".

Experience proves that sending telecom fraud suspects to the mainland to stand trial is the most efficient way to combat the crime, because many suspects are not punished at all when handled by judicial departments in Taiwan. The suspects set up new fraud rings once they were freed, making telecom fraud a never-ending nightmare for many on the mainland.

Telecom scams are rampant on the mainland nowadays, with Taiwan fraud rings, often based in foreign countries and regions, playing a key role in such cases.

Each year, billions of US dollars are siphoned from the mainland through such scams, which victimize tens of thousands of families, prompting calls for the authorities to take all necessary steps to remove this social ulcer.

Based on a judicial agreement signed in 2009, the mainland and Taiwan have worked together to launch joint law enforcement operations and cracked thousands of fraud cases. The momentum in cooperation should not be derailed by a change of leadership on the island, or the recent controversy surrounding repatriation of Taiwan suspects to the mainland.

Fraud criminals are the common enemies of all. So long as the spirit of the law is upheld and people's interests are put before political differences between the two sides, a solution can be found to prevent more people from becoming the victims of such scams.

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