Two Taiwanese Double Agents Sentenced to Jail

Two Taiwanese Double Agents Sentenced to Jail
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像

What you need to know

The Taiwan High Court has charged two former military men for leaking intelligence to Beijing.

The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced a former Taiwanese intelligence agent and former colonel to 18 years and six years in prison respectively for acting as double agents and selling information to China.

Major Wang Tsung-wu (王宗武) was charged with espionage under the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces and illegally leaking information under the National Intelligence Services Act.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily reports that Wang was turned by Chinese intelligence in 1995 when he was working for the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB). He provided China with the identities of other Taiwanese agents who were working in China.

Wang returned to Taiwan in 2005 after his retirement, where he continued to expand China’s intelligence network within Taiwan. In 2013, he recruited his junior, retired colonel Lin Han (林翰), into his operations.

Lin, a telecommunications specialist, agreed to work for China after meeting with Chinese officials in Singapore and Malaysia. He revealed information he obtained while working for the Taiwanese military, and even leaked the names of those who received promotions in recent years, according to the Liberty Times.

Both men are being held outside the country and were not present for their hearings. Both can appeal their sentences with the Taiwan Supreme Court. Wang's sentence was reduced from 74 years to 18 years, while Lin's was reduced to six years and ordered to pay back the money he collected from the Chinese.

Wang earned almost NT$2.9 million (US$93,000) during his 10 years working for China. For his part, Lin received a total of US$76,000. Both men’s earnings have been confiscated by the High Court, the United Daily News reports.

Wang reportedly admitted to leaking intelligence to China when he was brought in for questioning in March. He said he only did so because his identity was discovered. Lin also pleaded guilty and expressed remorse, and said he did not know why he did it.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole