The Taiwanese major general accused of spying for the mainland was recruited by a Chinese female agent who offered him sex and money in return for information, Taiwan media reported Thursday.
Lo Hsien-che, the highest-ranking Taiwanese military official to be detained on espionage charges in more than 50 years, met the Chinese woman, who held an Australian passport and pretended to be working in the export and import business, when he served in Thailand from 2002 to 2005, the Taiwan-based China Times reported.
Lo started to collect secret information for the woman in 2004 and received between $100,000 and $200,000 each time for his services in Thailand, according to the report.
Lo continued spying for the mainland after returning to Taiwan in 2005. He met the woman again in the United States and handed over more confidential information, the report said.
The report said that experts in Taiwan believed the amount he received from the mainland exceeded $1 million.
Lo was head of the army's telecommunications and electronic information department when he was arrested on January 27.
An academic told the Global Times Thursday that he could not comment on Lo's motivations, but did not rule out the possibility that Lo spied for the mainland because he was frustrated with the Democratic Progressive Party's attempts to seek "Taiwan independence."
Taiwan's "Ministry of Defense" said Lo did not have access to confidential information because he was in a management position that had "partial" access to military intelligence, the Taipei-based China Post reported Thursday.
However, the China Times cited an unnamed military official as saying that the possible leak of information from Lo when he was in his former post gave the mainland details of the collaboration between the Taiwan and US militaries, dealing a blow to trust between the US and Taiwan.
Lo managed to keep his activities under wraps, and was promoted to major general in 2008, China Times reported.
An unnamed military source said that loyalty checks are conducted on military officials who are stationed overseas, the Taiwan-based United Daily News reported Thursday.
According to Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television, Taipei reported 16 espionage cases concerning the mainland in the last 10 years.