Intelligence leak to China poses little risk: gov’t

The China Post news staff and agencies

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday said it has taken damage control measures in response to a possible intelligence leak one day after the detention of a senior military officer for allegedly spying for Beijing. “The leak will have limited influence on the operations of the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB),” said MND spokesman Major General Yu Sy-tue yesterday during a regular briefing. However, Yu refused to disclose further details about the alleged spying case, citing national security reasons. According to local media reports, Colonel Lo Chi-cheng, a senior officer working for the MIB, is suspected of forwarding classified information to China, after being recruited as a double agent by Taiwanese businessman Lo Pin. Lo Chi-cheng and Lo Pin were both taken into custody Monday on charges of leaking confidential intelligence information to China. Lo Pin joined the intelligence service for Taiwan after reading a classified advertisement in a newspaper in 2004, the reports said.

He thought he was applying for a Taiwanese company in China, but during the interview, he was told that the company was in fact a front for the MIB and he was to work for the bureau to gather intelligence in the Chinese coastal area, according to the Apple Daily. The bureau sent Lo Pin to China later the same year, and Lo Chi-cheng was his supervisor. At the end of 2004, Lo Pin was captured by Chinese agents and tortured for 15 days until he finally agreed to work as a double agent for China, the newspaper reported. After returning to Taiwan, Lo Pin successfully convinced his supervisor Lo Chi-cheng to gather military intelligence for Beijing. Since 2007, Lo Pin has passed military intelligence to agents from China’s Ministry of State Security in Hong Kong 12 times, receiving US$4,000-US$6,000 each time, according to media reports. Taiwan’s military did not learn of the leak until recent intelligence showed that Taipei’s spy network in China had been compromised by the Chinese military.