Tue, Sep 26, 2000 - Page 1 News List

Arms dealer charged with murder of Yin Ching-feng

SCANDAL Ex-Lafayette agent Andrew Wang has been accused of killing the former naval captain. The minister of national defense has been implicated too

STAFF WRITERWITH AGENCIES

Taiwan High Court Prosecutor General and convener of the "Black Gold Investigation Center" Lin Jie-der (林偕得) yesterday confirmed that prosecutors have issued the order for the arrest of arms dealer Andrew Wang (汪傳浦) on the charge of murdering former navy captain Yin Ching-feng (尹清楓).

Meanwhile, a PFP legislator made the sensational allegation that Minister of National Defense, Wu Shih-wen (伍世文) was involved in the murder of Yin.

Andrew Wang was an agent of the Lafayette manufacturer, Thomson CSF, in Taiwan. He had allegedly offered a bribe of NT$9.5 million to former naval captain Kuo Li-heng (郭力恆), who is now serving a life sentence for receiving bribes and disclosing classified information.

Wang fled Taiwan a few days after Yin's death in December 1993, and is reported to be living in the US and holding a US passport.

"Wang is wanted for bribery and obtaining military secrets, and now a murder charge is added to the arrest order, " Lin said.

Wang has been under suspicion of involvement in Yin's murder. But prosecutors have been unable to get him back to Taiwan for questioning.

This month five former and incumbent naval officers have been detained on corruption charges for their alleged involvement in corruption surrounding the Lafayette frigate purchase.

Meanwhile, PFP Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) yesterday claimed that, according to secret intelligence he obtained from the Ministry of National Defense, defense minister Wu Shih-wen (伍世文) and Commandant of the Naval Academy Chin Feng-hsiang (金豐鄉) are involved in Yin's death.

"A defense ministry internal investigative report on Yin's case was completed at the end of last year, and it shows that the military suspected Wu and Chin were involved." Lee said in a press conference yesterday at the Legislative Yuan.

The ministry, however, said it was opting not to respond to these accusations, because "the case is now sub judice."

It was disclosed by the media last week that the special investigative force investigating the Yin murder and related weapons purchase scandals is focusing on two incumbent high-ranking naval officers and, in order to protect the identity of the two, their names have been replaced for the investigation's internal purposes with code names with pronunciations similar to their actual names. One has been named "Wu Szu-chih" (吳思治) and the other "Ching Chih-ping" (荊治平).

At his press conference Lee Ching-hua announced "Wu Szu-chih' is Wu Shih-wen; Ching Chih-ping' is Chin Feng-hsiang."

Lee said that when Chin was the ordnance department chief of the naval General Headquarters in 1992 he visited an Italian arms company under the arrangement of arms dealers and was "entertained" by the Italian company, which produced 76mm guns.

Afterward, Lee said, Chin led the purchase of the Italian 76mm guns for the vessels. The price that Chin reported for the guns was US$3.4 million each, while Taiwan's military envoy in Singapore reported that the price Singapore paid for the exact same weapon from the same company was US$2.5 million each, Lee said.

Lee said that Chin actually controlled all purchases being dealt with by the naval weapons procurement office, of which Yin was the executive general.

"If Yin had been planning to reveal all purchase scandals in the Navy, `Wu' and `Ching' would have been badly affected. It's possible that Ching, in Wu's name, commanded someone to silence Yin and Yin was killed by mistake," Lee cited the alleged report from the defense ministry as saying.

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