Former Taiwanese spy has new removal date

First published in News

A FORMER Taiwanese spy who lived in Newport for 18 months has again been served with tickets for her removal from the UK.

Emily Yeh, 33, moved to Newport in summer 2012 after absconding from her position as an intelligence officer in the Taiwanese intelligence service. She has been detained in the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire since December 16.

Her friend Helen Aesa, who has led a campaign to keep her in the UK, said plane tickets had been given to Ms Yeh for a flight on Saturday, January 18.

Ms Yeh had previously been told that her flight would be sent back to Taiwan on Saturday, February 15 and was optimistic about staying in the UK and securing permission to stay from the Home Office in that time. Ms Aesa said Ms Yeh’s after being very depressed earlier last week, was more optimistic and “full of life and joking” with her on the phone but that her mood has sunk with the news authorities are planning to remove her earlier than expected.

She said: “Emily’s now saying: ‘I have had enough’. I said: ‘no, no, no, you mustn’t be like that.’ She’s very down again.”

Ms Yeh was not available for comment yesterday afternoon.

It is thought Ms Yeh’s fresh bail application and asylum claim this week will still go ahead.

A bail application which was due to be held at an immigration and asylum hearing in Birmingham was withdrawn at the last minute last week by her former solicitors, Virgo Consultancy, so that a fresh appeal could be made this week. Ms Yeh decided late last week that the firm would no longer represent her. During her time in Newport Ms Yeh attended a cookery course at Coleg Gwent and worked as a volunteer for Oxfam and the Welsh Refugee Council. She stayed at Home Office accommodation in Chepstow Road.

Taiwanese authorities have said they intend to prosecute Ms Yeh and when returned she can expect a five-year prison sentence. Friends said she might have faced the death penalty in Taiwan but the country’s government has denied that. Ms Yeh’s first removal directions were given to her just a day before her scheduled flight to Taiwan on December 23. But she was stopped from flying after receiving treatment for a kidney stone.

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