Sat, Jul 24, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Another `mistake' involving suspected killer rattles MOFA

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last night admitted that its representative office in the UK had issued legal documents and a passport to Yeh Hsiu-chen (葉秀貞) , the wife of the fugitive murder suspect Andrew Wang (汪傳浦) in March, which had later became the approach to allow Yeh authorizing person to sell her real estate in Taiwan in May.

This was the second time that the Taipei Representative Office in the UK has issued legal documentation to a family member of Wang.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) said during last night's emergency press conference that Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), Taiwan's representative to Britain, has officially offered his resignation.

"Yeh applied for a new passport on March 16, saying she had lost her passport. Our representative office in the UK issued Yeh a new passport the next day," said Mark Chen.

The minister said that when the new chief of the consular affairs section of the UK representative office took his post on July 20, he found documentation of Yeh's application, and reported the matter to the ministry.

"We also set up a task force to cope with the case. However, two of Yeh's real estate sales had already been completed," Chen said. "We were able to block four other deals." Wang had appeared with his son and a lawyer at the London office on Feb. 5 last year, and he was able to obtain an authentication document, which the government claimed Wang used to try to unfreeze money bewing held in Swiss banks. According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, in May of last year the government prepared a list of Wang's family members, and sent it to the UK representative office to prevent it from making the same mistake. "We have no idea why the representative office in the UK ignored our list," said Chien Kang-tan (錢剛鐔), director general of the bureau.

Chien also confirmed that the same senior consular affairs official in the UK office who issued the documents to Wang last year was responsible for issuing the passport to Yeh. the official has been suspended and will return to Taiwan immediately, officials said.

Wang, an arms dealer suspected of being deeply involved in the corruption-tainted sale of French Lafayette-class frigates to Taiwan in the 1990s, is wanted in connection with the death of Navy Captain Yin Ching-feng (尹清楓).

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