A Beijing court handed down sentences to 46 Taiwan residents who were extradited from Spain for involvement in telecom fraud, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
They were charged with committing telecom fraud in two separate cases. They posed as police officers and prosecutors to deceive Chinese residents into transferring money to a designated account in 2016, according to the verdicts issued by Haidian People's Court in Beijing on April 16.
In one case, 11 Taiwan residents were given jail terms of five years to 10 years for defrauding 10 people out of 3.2 million yuan ($490,000). In the other case, 25 Taiwan residents were given sentences ranging from four-and-a-half years to 13 years, for defrauding 4.4 million yuan from 66 people, according to the court.
Ma said the Chinese mainland and Spain jointly cracked down on cross-border telecom and internet fraud from 2016 to 2019. Spain extradited 225 suspects to the Chinese mainland in batches, including 218 suspects from Taiwan.
People on the mainland were swindled out of 120 million yuan by these suspects, he said, adding that "Many people were defrauded of their money for medical treatment, retirement and schooling, and one victim committed suicide."
The mainland will continue to crack down on telecom and internet fraud in accordance with the law to protect people's property and legitimate rights and interests, he said.