Ex-MIB agent gets life term for spying

The China Post

By Joseph Yeh–Former military intelligence agent Colonel Lo Chi-cheng (羅奇正) yesterday was sentenced to life in prison for spying for China, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND) statement. Lo, who used to work at the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) under the MND, was given a life sentence for colluding with a China-based Taiwanese businessman Lo Pin (羅斌), (not related to Lo), in order to gather confidential military information for China, the ministry said in a statement.

Citing the Military Supreme Court verdict, the MND said Lo was also given separate jail term for taking bribes from Chinese authorities and for using “false intelligence” fed by China to obtain monetary rewards from Taiwan’s authorities. He can still appeal the verdict. According to the court verdict, Lo had been selling Taiwanese military intelligence to Chinese authorities since Jan. 2007 in exchange of bribes.

Lo was also found using the information provided by the Chinese to obtain monetary rewards from the MIB. The Investigation Bureau began to monitor Lo after he was suspected of engaging in espionage for China. He was arrested on Oct. 31 last year when he was found handing a flash drive containing confidential military information to Lo Pin, the verdict said.

The Military High Court ruled that the former MIB agent had seriously violated his duty to serve his country and should be severely punished by sentencing him to life imprisonment. All the bribes he received for his espionage activities, totaling US$180,000, plus HK$ 2.16 million and another NT$1 million, will be confiscated and returned to the national coffers, the MND statement said. Serving as Double Agent for Money

The court added that Lo Pin was originally recruited by Lo in 2003 to help obtain classified information from China for local authorities. However, the Taiwanese businessman was later arrested by Chinese security authorities during a trip to China in July 2006.

In exchange for his release, Lo Pin made a deal to convince Lo to spy for China, the verdict read. Tempted by China’s incentives, Lo began to work as a double agent.

Despite rapidly improving relations between Taiwan and China, there have been numerous spy cases reported for the past years.

The latest ruling is the third case in the past three months alone. Former Army Major General Lo Hsien-che was previously sentenced to life imprisonment in mid-July for being a Chinese spy. A Taiwanese businessman was also sentenced to one year and six month in prison for evolvement in espionage activities on August.