Tue, May 16, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors probe claim against Chen's son-in-law

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei Prosecutors' Office is investigating a legislator's claim that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son-in-law had been involved in insider trading which earned millions of dollars a year in his mother's name, prosecutors' office spokesman Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑) said yesterday.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) last week accused Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) of buying 20 million shares of Taiwan Development Corp (TDC) stock under the name of his mother, Chien Shui-mien (簡水綿), after they learned that the stock was set to go up last year.

According to Chiu, Chien bought the shares at NT$2 each at a time when TDC was hovering close to bankruptcy, and had earned NT$300 million to NT$400 million (US9.6 million to US$12.7 million) as of last Thursday, when the price stood at NT$18.95 per share.

Chiu said that Chao had acquired inside information that the corporation received pledges of NT$16.5 billion in loans during two meetings in July last year with officials of TDC and Chang Hwa Bank, which planned to sell out its TDC shares.

Chao's family has strongly denied Chiu's accusation.

After Chao filed a lawsuit against Chiu for making what he called a "fabricated accusation," his father, Chao Yu-chu (趙玉柱), phoned Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) on Sunday night to help clear up the matter.

"He told me that the purchase of TDC's shares had nothing to do with his son. He said that some of his friends had suggested that he and his wife should invest in TDC shares," Huang said, adding that Chao Yu-chu hadn't named the friends concerned.

Huang said that the purchase of 5 million TDC shares had not been made by Chien alone.

"He told me that the purchase had been jointly funded by Chien and some of her friends at a price of NT$3.85 per share, not NT$2 like Chiu had said. Chien has sold half of the shares, which has earned her NT$8 million so far," Huang said.

Meanwhile, Vice Minister of Justice Wang Tian-sheng (王添盛) told legislators in the legislature's Judiciary Committee yesterday that the ministry would look into the case.

A large crowd of reporters that had gathered outside Chao Chien-ming's house yesterday incurred the wrath of his wife, Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤).

"I didn't buy the shares, so what's the point of you hanging around here and bothering me all day?" she said to reporters.

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