Taiwan grapples with ‘largest military spy scandal in 20 years’



By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Two Taiwanese double agents have been arrested in Taipei, in connection with what one newspaper editorial described as the most serious case of military espionage to hit the country in two decades. The two men, who have been charged with conspiracy to conduct espionage on behalf of a foreign power, were detained on Tuesday, after they were witnessed exchanging classified information at a busy outdoor location by Taiwanese counterintelligence agents. One of them, identified as Lo Chi-cheng, is allegedly a Colonel in Taiwan’s Military Information Bureau, the most powerful intelligence organization under Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. According to Taiwanese officials, he operated for several years as a procurer of classified military information on behalf of his unnamed co-conspirator, a Taiwanese businessman who is reportedly “linked to Taiwan’s intelligence network”. The unnamed businessman, who was also detained Tuesday, would then pass the classified information to a handler from Chinese intelligence. The revelations point to what is only the latest in a long series of recent espionage scandals between regional rivals China and Taiwan. In March of 2009, two senior Taiwanese government aides were formally charged with violating Taiwan’s national security law by providing Chinese officials with classified information. One of them was Wang Ren-bing, former senior advisor at the Office of the President of Taiwan. This latest instance of Chinese espionage in Taiwan is still being assessed by Taiwanese authorities. Meanwhile, the Taipei-headquartered China Times newspaper has cited Taiwanese military sources in describing it as “probably the highest-level case of espionage involving the military in 20 years”.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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