《TAIPEI TIMES》 Court upholds 12-plus-year sentence for ex-lieutenant
Retired army lieutenant Shao Wei-chiang, left, and former army colonel Hsiang Te-en, whose faces have been digitally obscured, hold a pledge of allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party in an undated photograph. Photo copied by Huang Chia-lin, Taipei Times
/ Staff writer, with CNA
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a combined 12.5-year sentence for retired army lieutenant Shao Wei-chiang （邵維強）, who developed a Chinese spy network for more than 20 years and ran an unlicensed money exchange service.
The ruling is final.
The court rejected Shao’s appeal, saying that “investigations in the previous trial were complete and the sentencing was appropriate.”
Shao, a former reporter and owner of Kinmen County-based Safety Travel Service Co, in May was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Fuchien Kinmen District Court for contravening the National Security Act （國家安全法） and the Banking Act （銀行法）.
The Kinmen court said that Shao began organizing a spy network for China in 2002 and provided an illicit New Taiwan dollar to Chinese yuan exchange service, which operated from January 2016 to February last year.
In the two decades before his arrest last year, he had recruited two people into his spy network, including Hsiang Te-en （向德恩）, who was an army colonel when he accepted Shao’s request in 2019 to spy for China in return for a fixed monthly payment.
From Oct. 31, 2019, to January last year, Hsiang accepted NT$560,000 from Shao in exchange for information that he obtained from the military, the district court said.
During the court hearing, Shao admitted to having organized an espionage network for China and illegally providing cash exchange services.
Shao was sentenced to 12 years and five years for each crime for a combined term of 15 years, which he later appealed.
In the second trial, the Fuchien High Court Kinmen Branch Court determined that Shao’s combined sentence should be reduced to 12.5 years due to his confession and full return of his illicit gains.