Sun, Sep 28, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Former senior bank manager guilty of stealing millions

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Court late on Friday night sentenced former Macoto Bank Hsiyuan Branch senior manager Lu Chien-yung (呂健勇) to 12 years in prison on a charge of theft.

"Lu did not regret what he did and did not tell the truth when he was interrogated. Obviously, he is not sorry at all so we decided to put him away for 12 years," said Taipei Judge Chen Jung-cheng (陳容正) in his verdict.

Lu's partner in crime, Lai Chin-liang (賴金良), was also sentenced to 20 months in jail on the same charge.

The crime was committed on the night of Feb. 5 last year, when Lu walked into the bank's vault, stole NT$67 million and took off.

According to Lu's statement which was handed in with the verdict, he began to suffer debt problems in 1994. As of the time when he committed the crime last year, he had owed NT$25 million to "private banks," which made him decide to steal the money from the bank where he worked since he had access to the vault.

"Private banks," despite the sometimes huge amounts of money they deal with, operate outside the law. They are not registered with the Ministry of Finance, as most financial organizations are required to be, and provide high-interest loans to those who have been refused credit at a normal bank.

Due to their extra-legal nature, these "private banks" frequently hire gangsters to reclaim defaulted loans.

According to the bank's security video system, Lu walked into the vault alone, carried out five huge black bags with cash in them, put these bags in the trunk of his own vehicle parked in the basement of the building and took off.

Police investigations later showed that Lu went to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport directly after the crime and left for Hong Kong. However, immigration officials at the airport said that Lu did not carry any of the five huge black bags of cash when he went through security checks.

When Lu tried to come back to Taiwan without any authorization in July last year, his attempt was discovered by the Chinese police and the Chinese authorities decided to deport him back to Taiwan.

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