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Taiwan; Thailand: Agreement to Fight Economic Crime Signed

(Jan. 22, 2013) On January 17, 2013, the Republic of China (on Taiwan) (ROC) and Thailand signed a bilateral agreement to fight transnational economic crimes, in particular fraud carried out by means of telecommunications. The Representative of the ROC to Thailand, Henry M. J. Chen, and Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Chen’s Thai counterpart, carried out the signing ceremonies on behalf of their governments. (Grace Kuo, Taiwan,Thailand Ink Economic Crime-Fighting Pact, TAIWAN TODAY (Jan. 18, 2013).)

According to Wang Cho-chiun, Director-General of the National Police Agency (NPA) of Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior, the agreement is “a milestone in police cooperation” and will enable the two sides to “achieve better results in intelligence exchange, investigation, coordinated operations, and extradition.” (Taiwan, Thailand Accord Against Crime, BANGKOK POST (Jan. 17, 2013).) An NPA official added that the pact “paves the way for both sides to ramp up efforts jointly tackling cross-border drug, financial and Internet crime, as well as cracking down on human trafficking.” (Kuo, supra.)

Since August 2009, the official noted, the NPA Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Royal Thai Police “have jointly cracked 32 high-profile telecommunications fraud rings, arresting 417 criminals.” (Id.) Due to the increased incidence of telecommunications fraud in Southeast Asia, he stated, the region’s law enforcement need to collaborate to combat such crimes. (Kuo, supra.) Taiwan’s police force has also joined other Southeast Asian police forces to crack down on fraud; in 2011, a record 827 people were arrested on charges of running fraudulent operations in seven countries in the region. (Taiwan, Thailand Accord Against Crime, supra.) According to the NPA, an anti-crime agreement Taiwan and China signed in 2009 helped reduce Taiwan’s fraud cases by 26% in 2010. (Id.; Mainland, Taiwan Ink Deals on Finance, Travel, Anti-Crime Cooperation, GB TIMES (Apr. 27, 2009).) In addition, the joint efforts of Taiwanese and Thai police agencies have been successful in cracking down on drug-trafficking rings that had targeted Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. (Kuo, supra.)