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Sun, Jan 09, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Uncovering of NT$50m heats up Soong finance affair

STAFF WRITER

Independent presidential candidate James Soong's (宋楚瑜) financial controversy took a new turn yesterday, this time over an NT$50 million donation dating back to 1994, it has been learned.

The Chinese-language media said yesterday that officials are investigating what happened to a donation by the Taichung-based Kuangsan Enterprise Group (廣?T集1?.

Soong, provincial governor at the time, received the money personally from the conglomerate's president Tseng Cheng-jen (曾正??/CHINESE>) in the form of a check without a designated payee, sources at the conglomerate said yesterday.

However, the sources declined to confirm the exact amount or date of the donation, saying that the business group had its relevant documents confiscated by judicial investigators during a financial scandal in 1998.

Soong's spokesperson Yen Jung-chang (顏榮昌) said the money should be part of the NT$140 million which Soong claimed the KMT had entrusted to him to undertake party work.

Finance ministry officials said yesterday that they had so far identified at least US$6.36 million remitted to the US by Soong's sister-in-law Chen Pi-yun (3笑捅3).

Chen admitted to remitting US$4.09 million from the accounts of Soong's son Soong Chen-yuan (宋鎮遠) and herself.

However, ministry officials said they had found two additional remittances by Chen -- one made to Chen's sister in Costa Rica in 1995 and another made in 1996 -- had not been included in the investigation.

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