Turks, Uyghurs held in smuggling, terrorism scheme

By Liu Chang Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-14 15:59:20

Chinese authorities have made arrests in a stowaway case involving 10 Turkish suspects and nine Uyghur suspects from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, authorities told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Ten Turkish suspects were arrested for organizing illegal border crossings. Other Uyghur suspects, including a wanted Uyghur terrorist, are being held for organizing, leading and participating in terrorist organizations, authorities said.

Police in Shanghai's Public Security Bureau captured the suspects in November when nine Uyghurs attempted to sneak out of China with altered Turkish passports with the help of two other Chinese suspects.

The investigation showed that the suspects, including a Uyghur living in Turkey and a Turkish suspect, charged 60,000 yuan ($9,680) per person for nine stowaways departing from Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

They also paid $2,000 each to nine Turkish people to get visas with fake invitation letters at the Chinese Embassy in Turkey. The passports were later sent overseas for forgery and alteration after the nine Turkish citizens entered China with the authentic ones.

Terrorism-related videos were found on the suspects' phones, with one suspect having repeatedly spread audio and video recordings meant to incite discrimination and ethnic hatred, according to police. Some confessed that they planned to go to Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The case remains under investigation, and has drawn attention from Chinese security authorities for its well-structured planning, rigorous organization, and trans-national collaboration.

Some suspected Uyghur terrorists have reportedly left China illegally to make their way to join jihadists in Syria, Iraq and other places via Turkey, with the intent of later committing terrorist acts within Chinese territory, authorities said.

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