Sun, Jul 25, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Special agent in hot water over forgery inquest

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A special agent from the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation was arrested after being interrogated by Kaohsiung prosecutors over a case in which he allegedly set up an informer to produce forged New Taiwan dollars.

The bureau had awarded a NT$300,000 reward to special agent Hsu Cheng-hsiung (徐正雄) for his work on the case.

The bureau announced in a press release on Friday night that Hsu, who was based in Kaohsiung, has been suspended from his job and detained by Kaohsiung Prose-cutor Hung Hsin-hsu (洪信旭) over suspicion that he fabricated the case by framing his own informer.

"The reward Hsu earned will be retrieved if he is convicted. His position at the bureau has been suspended. Currently, we are investigating another potential suspect who worked with Hsu and will try to find this person as soon as possible," the bureau said in the press release.

The bureau did not say whether Hsu has admitted to any crime as of press time yesterday.

Hung's investigation showed that prosecutors had interrogated Lai Yung-ming (賴永銘), Hsu's secret informant, over his alleged involvement in a case of credit card forgery. Hsu is suspected of having persuaded Lai to work for him in exchange for facing reduced charges in the credit card forgery case.

The bureau's special agents are authorized to help prosecutors with the investigation, interrogation and indictment of suspects.

With Lai's help, prosecutors on Tuesday discovered an "outline plan" at Hsu's office of the crime the special agent is suspected of having committed.

Hung and his co-prosecutors then summoned Hsu for questioning on Friday. Hsu told them that he had nothing to do with the crime.

According to prosecutors' investigation, the entire case started on May 9, 2002, when Wang Juei-ching (王睿清), Huang Teh-nien (黃德年) and Yang Chen-lin (陽鎮麟) were arrested with stacks of fake bills. They were later indicted on forgery charges.

Wang told judges that Lai was his friend, and that the special agent had asked him to look after his factory while he was away. Lai left immediately after giving him the keys to the factory. A few minutes after Lai left, a group of police officers and special agents arrived, discovered the fake money and arrested him, Huang and Yang.

Wang's testimony was accepted and the court case against the three suspects was dismissed.

Lai told prosecutors that he was merely following Hsu's orders, because Hsu had promised to help reduce the charges that he might be facing due to his alleged involvement in the credit card forgery case.

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