The Kenyan Government is at the centre of a serious diplomatic row after releasing Taiwan citizens to main-land China after deportations.
Taiwan has protested to China after eight Taiwanese cleared of charges by a Kenyan court were “illegally” flown to the mainland, officials said Monday.
Kenyan authorities in November 2014 arrested 28 Taiwanese and 49 other ethnic Chinese on charges of illegally entering Kenya and involvement in a telecoms scam, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
It said 37 of the suspects including 23 Taiwanese were found not guilty by the High Court in Kenya Tuesday last week. But Kenyan authorities last Friday deported eight of the Taiwanese to China rather than to Taiwan in response to pressure from Beijing, the ministry said.
This came as police took to court 41 more foreigners- 22 Chinese and 19- Taiwanese nationals arrested in a house for similar charges of trying to set up an illegal command centre.
The foreigners who had arrived in Nairobi as tourists were setting up the command centre in a house in Runda for cybycrimes before they were nabbed last Friday, the day the other eight Taiwanese were being deported.
Police said Monday they were moving the suspects to court to seek custodial orders as investigations into the crime continue. Of the eight, Taiwan said mainland used “technical methods” to delay news of the verdict reaching the relevant Taiwanese diplomat based in South Africa.
Taiwan had sent officials from its representative office in South Africa to Kenya to try to deal with the case as it has no office in Kenya, the Foreign Ministry added. “By the time our official rushed to the airport, the eight Taiwan citizens had been forcefully taken to a passenger plane of China Southern Airlines and sent to the mainland.”
Attorney-General Githu Muigai early this year indicated that the government was considering a request from Beijing to extradite 76 Chinese nationals charged with cybercrime in Kenya for trial in their homeland.
It denounced the move as “illegal” and “uncivilised”, saying that the fundamental human rights of the eight had been infringed. “The foreign ministry demands that the mainland immediately send the eight people back to Taiwan,” it said, also calling on Kenyan authorities to free the other 15 Taiwanese cleared of the charges.