Former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) and her son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), yesterday accepted a request from prosecutors to transfer US$21 million from three Swiss accounts back to Taiwan.
“This will help us with our investigation” into the allegations of money laundering, said Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), spokesman for the Supreme Prosecutor Office’s Special Investigation Panel (SIP). “If the money is determined to be from illegal activities, it will be confiscated. If not, we will return it to the former first family.”
Chen Yun-nan made the remarks at the SIP office at around noon, after prosecutors had questioned Wu, Chen Chih-chung and his wife, Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚), at the former president’s residence. The questioning began at 10am.
Chen Yun-nan said Chen Chih-chung gave prosecutors access to the accounts on Nov. 14, but that prosecutors had wanted Wu’s permission, although the accounts are in the names of Huang and Chen Chih-chung.
When questioned in August, Wu told prosecutors the money had been deposited in three accounts at Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Galahad Management.
Wu said that the money deposited overseas came from four sources, all of which were legal — surplus political donations from Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) election campaigns, earnings from his practice as a lawyer before he went into politics, her dowry and her investment in the stock market.
Chen Yun-nan said the money was still frozen by the Swiss government and prosecutors would have to complete the transaction through judicial cooperation between Taiwan and Switzerland.
“I can’t say how long it will take for the transaction,” Chen Yun-nan said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA