110 Taiwanese citizens deported from Latvia

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The 110 Taiwanese citizens who were detained in Riga and the Riga region in August for telephone fraud have been deported to their country of origin, Latvijas Avize daily reported on September 27.

According to the State Border Guard, 105 of them have been banned from entering Latvia.

A representative of Taipei mission in Latvia confirmed that all 110 Taiwanese citizens are already in their country and the representation office had ensured the necessary consular and administrative assistance. Investigation in the case now is conducted by Taiwanese authorities.

China earlier had asked for extradition of six of the detained Taiwanese citizens, but Latvia rejected the request.

The representative of the Tapei mission said that Taiwan is conducting its own investigation and if China has any proof, it is invited to provide it to Taiwanese authorities in line with the mutual agreement on legal assistance. China considers Taiwan its own territory and the majority of the world’s countries have not recognized Taiwan as an independent country.

Latvian lawyer Saulvedis Varpins defended the Taiwanese citizens in Latvia and said that the Latvian court had found faults in China’s extradition request. Varpins said that the request listed superficial charges and did not include details about the extradition.

The Taiwanese citizens’ stay in Latvia was legal because there is a visa-free regime between the two countries.

As reported, the State Police in mid-August detained 110 people in a major operation that was conducted in Riga and its vicinity. The criminal gang had swindled more than €2 million from residents of China.

The gang had used telephone fraud in the time period between March and July this year.

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