Taiwan investigator mistaken for fraudster, held in China for 25 days

A Taiwanese investigator who was probing a drug case in China last month was mistaken for a fraud suspect and held by local authorities for 25 days, before he was allowed to leave China Wednesday, Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Friday.

Yang Ming-chang (???), a senior investigator from the CIB's International Criminal Affairs Division, was on vacation in Hong Kong on July 23 when an informant he had arranged to meet there could not make it to the city, and asked to meet in Shenzhen instead, according to a China Times report Friday.

After meeting the informant for a meal in Shenzhen, Yang was confronted by the Chinese police at his hotel the next day and was taken away for interrogation as they alleged that he was a member of a fraud ring because one of the Chinese men also present at the meal was under investigation for fraud, according to the report.

After learning about the situation, the CIB said it contacted Chinese authorities to assure them that Yang was not a member of a fraud ring and was investigating a case.

The CIB said Yang was not arrested, and he was allowed to speak with his family over the phone and had freedom of movement. He was kept in China for 25 days because relevant paperwork took a long time to process, the bureau said.

Yang, however, was given a minor demerit by the CIB because he did not report his trip to China to the bureau in advance, violating the bureau's regulations, according to the CIB.

Yang said he was treated well by the Chinese authorities during his 25 days in China and was able to take a flight back to Taiwan after they confirmed that he was not related to the fraud case.

According to China Times, Yang had sent drug intelligence that he gathered back to his colleague after meeting with his informer, and Chinese authorities have expressed interest in his intelligence and a joint investigation.

Source: Focus Taiwan