Tue, Nov 18, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors charge two former NSB financial officials

STAFF WRITER

The Taipei Prosecutors' Office charged the National Security Bureau's (NSB) former chief accountant Hsu Ping-chiang (徐炳強) and former chief cashier Liu Kuan-chun (劉冠軍) with corruption yesterday, and asked the court for a sentence of 15 years for Hsu and 12 years for Liu.

The prosecutors' office said Hsu and Liu had embezzled NT$250 million from the NSB, and gave the money to Taiwan Research Institute president Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) to pay for the institute's spending.

Taipei District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達) said that because there was concrete evidence to prove that Hsu and Liu Kuan-chun had broken the law, the prosecutors would proceed with the case.

Chen said that although Hsu and Liu were military officers, the two were deprived of their military positions, allowing the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office to take over and proceed with the case.

Hsu is in detention and Liu is a fugitive.

Chen said Hsu and Liu had broke the Statute for the Punishment of Corruption (貪汙治罪條例) by appropriating public property.

"Hsu and Liu were the gatekeepers of the national treasury but they ended up embezzling NT$250 million for private uses and caused a great loss for the treasury, so the prosecutors decided to ask for a heavy sentence of 15 and 12 years, respectively," Chen said.

According to the statute, appropriating public property can entail a life sentence or a sentence longer than 10 years.

Regarding the involvement of Liu Tai-ying and Ruentex Corp chairman Yin Yen-liang (尹衍樑) in money laundering, Chen said that prosecutors had asked the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation to continue its investigation.

Chen said a prosecutors' office decision on whether to question former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) would depend on further developments in the case.

The NSB scandal started with the disappearance in 1994 of US$4.5 million from a secret fund of US$10.58 million to secure Taiwan's diplomatic relationship with South Africa. According to prosecutors' investigation, the bureau paid the amount to South Africa on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 1994.

On April 4, 1999, the ministry returned a total of US$10.7 million, including interest, to the NSB. Hsu allegedly asked Liu Kuan-chun to deposit US$7.5 million in the Taiwan Research Institute's bank account.

Liu Kuan-chun is suspected of embezzling more than NT$192 million of the total amount. According to the Bureau of Investigation, he left Taiwan in September 2000 and went to Shanghai. He surfaced in Bangkok in January last year and from there went to North America. Sources said that he is now in Canada.

Liu Tai-ying allegedly wired the money to Ruentex Corp chairman Yin Yen-liang's (尹衍樑) bank accounts in the US and Singapore. Yin allegedly wired the money to one of Ruentex Corp's bank accounts in Taiwan, after which he "donated" US$3 million of it to the Taiwan Research Institute. Hsu has been in detention since July 18.

According to a statement by Hsu, he acted on orders from former NSB secretary-general Yin Tsung-wen (殷宗文). The initial order allegedly came from former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

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