Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Businessman suspected of theft

BILLIONS MISSING The former chief financial officer of Pacific Electric Wire and Cable Co is suspected of having embezzled NT$40 billion from the company

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hu Hung-chiu (胡洪九), the former chief financial officer of Pacific Electric Wire and Cable Co, was detained on charges of embezzlement yesterday, while former chairmen Tung Yu-chieh (仝玉潔), Tung Ching-yun (仝清筠) and Jack Sun (孫道存) -- who face similar charges -- were released on bail.

Tung Yu-chieh was released on NT$20 million bail while his son, Tung Ching-yun, and Sun were released on NT$5 million bail each. The three men completed the necessary legal processes and left the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office around 10:30am after being interrogated overnight by Taipei prosecutors Chu Ying-hsiang (朱應翔) and Hsu Yung-chin (許永欽).

"This case is a well-organized economic crime which resulted in approximately NT$40 billion in losses to the company [Pacific Electric Wire and Cable]," said Lin Bang-liang (林邦樑), spokesman of the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office.

Hu is suspected to have embezzled NT$40 billion from the company during his time as the chief financial officer for the company between 1988 and 1998. However, as of press time yesterday, the whereabouts of the missing money remained unknown.

According to investigation by prosecutors, in addition to stealing company assets, Hu might have also manipulated company stocks to the dismay of private investors, who lost money.

In the meantime, prosecutors also discovered that Hu allegedly established dummy companies and opened secret bank accounts in Hong Kong to launder the money.

As for the Tungs and Sun, prosecutors found nothing to suggest that they helped Hu embezzle the money, but prosecutors decided that they should take responsibility for their ignorance since they were all the company's head during the alleged crime.

Local Chinese-language news-papers reported that prosecutors had flown to Hong Kong in July to interrogate anonymous witnesses who testified against Hu, but prosecutors would not confirm these claims.

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