Taipei, Taiwan worked with Montenegro police to crack down on a group of Taiwanese scammers operating in the European country, and brought back 92 suspects, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said Friday.
The repatriations came after a more than six-month-long investigation sparked by the bureau receiving a tip-off from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about Taiwanese nationals setting up servers and equipment for scam operations in European countries last year. The Bureau then established a task force that conducted the investigation.
According to the bureau, the 92 suspects arrived in Montenegro in groups last year, and allegedly operated scams that led to nearly 1,000 victims in Taiwan and China losing over NT$400 million (US$13.33 million).
The suspects were detained by Montenegrin authorities over charges relating to human trafficking and organized crimes during a joint operation by Taiwan and Montenegro in January at three locations in the capital Podgorica.
The two countries then negotiated an agreement to repatriate the suspects and hand over the evidence to Taiwan, the bureau said.
It added this was the first time that Taiwanese and Montenegrin authorities have exchanged intelligence and conducted mutual legal assistance.
As part of the case, the bureau has also arrested a suspect in Taichung said to be the person funding the criminal operations, and eight other accomplices, after searching 14 locations in Taiwan between March and April.
The case has been handed over to the Taichung District Prosecutors Office for charges relating to money laundering and organized crimes, the bureau said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel