Spain extradites 94 Taiwanese to China on phone scam charges

A group of 94 Taiwanese accused of telephone and online fraud have arrived in China after being extradited from Spain

BEIJING -- A group of 94 Taiwanese accused of telephone and online fraud have arrived in China after being extradited from Spain.

Chinese authorities say the suspects arrived Friday morning at Beijing airport on a chartered flight. Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed officers escorting them off the plane one-by-one.

The extraditions stem from joint Chinese and Spanish police raids in December 2016 on 13 operations in several Spanish cities. Spain has extradited 225 suspects to date, of which 218 are Taiwanese.

The scams operate from several countries and usually target Chinese. The callers typically masquerade as Chinese authorities and demand or persuade the victims to transfer money to the scammers' accounts.

Taiwan has protested the extraditions in the past, saying the accused should be sent to Taiwan, not China.