TAIPEI - The Taipei District Prosecutors Office interviewed five additional suspects in the espionage case involving former People's Liberation Army Captain Zheng Xiaojiang.
The suspects consisted of several active duty officers, including a colonel (surnamed Ke) of the R.O.C. Air Force Academy Flight Training Command, a lieutenant colonel of the same unit (surnamed Lo) and three others.
After comparison and verification of records, prosecutors discovered that Colonel Ke, under Zheng's direction, roped in Lt. Colonel Lo to make trips to Southeast Asia from 2009 to 2013 in order to pass information to Chinese intelligence agents. Reports from local paper the China Times indicate that Chinese intelligence was gathering information regarding the Mirage 2000 fighter jet and the personnel who flew them.
Citing the continued risk to national security with a high probability of flight, prosecutors denied his lawyer's motion to remove the prohibition of interviews against Zheng.
Zheng was initially discovered in September 2014 to have operated a spy ring involving retired R.O.C. Air Force officers, working to pass confidential military intelligence to mainland China in violation of the National Security Act. The suspects included Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Chou Tzu-li and three other suspects.
Chou allegedly assisted Zheng in recruiting ten military personnel (both active and retired) from the Army and the Air Force in Taiwan. He logged over 6,000 flight hours as an instructor for the AT-3 training craft.
Zheng met with active and retired R.O.C. military personnel, exchanging money or overseas travel for military intelligence. Acquiring Hong Kong residency allowed him to make frequent trips to Taiwan under the pretext of tourism and business.
Defence Ministry to Cooperate in Investigation
Ministry of National Defence (MND) spokesperson Luo Shou-he pledged that the military would work with prosecutors in their ongoing investigation in a late afternoon press conference. He indicated that active duty personnel had alerted national security agencies of the actions of retired personnel to draw current servicemen into the spy ring.
As an instructional institution, the Air Force Academy Flight Training Command does not possess information deemed to be highly sensitive, Luo added.
Luo urged retired military personnel to uphold national security and safety with a sense of national awareness and alertness in mind. Suspicious activity, he added, must be made known to national security agencies in order to maintain national security.