Wed, May 24, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Insider trading probe stepped up

OFFICE RAID Chang Hwa Commercial Bank's office was raided and several managers taken in for questioning in the investigation involving the president's son-in-law

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Investigators yesterday stepped up their probe into the alleged insider trading of Taiwan Devel-opment Corp (TDC) shares by raiding the office building of Chang Hwa Commercial Bank and questioning high-ranking bank officials.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the parents of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘), yesterday left their Tainan County residence in a friend's car at 4am. Local media speculated they had traveled to Taipei for more questioning from investigators, but Taipei District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑) yesterday afternoon refused to confirm the reports.

But Lin did confirm that investigators had seized a number of documents from Chang Hwa Bank during the raids.

Chang Hwa Commercial Bank chairman Chang Po-shin (張伯欣), the bank's president Chen Chen-chao (陳辰昭) and another bank official Chen Chin-yun (陳進允) were summoned for questioning yesterday, Lin added.

Lin said Chao Chien-ming's mother, Chien Shui-mien (簡水綿), Waterland Securities Co board director Tsai Chin-wen (蔡清文) and businessman Yu Shih-yi (游世一) bought large numbers of TDC shares after the bank released them, and they made substantial profits when TDC shares rose after the firm received a syndicated loan from a conglomerate of domestic banks that included Chang Hwa bank.

Lin said prosecutors were trying to discover whether Chao and the two others knew about the loan when they decided to buy TDC shares from the bank.

The bank officials were still being questioned as of press time.

The scandal dates back to last summer when TDC chairman Su Teh-jien (蘇德建), Chang Hwa Commercial Bank chairman Chang, bank president Chen and the bank official Chen dined with Chao Chien-ming, Tsai and Yu at a Japanese restaurant in Taipei on two separate occasions.

Officials suspect that the seven discussed the trading of TDC shares on both occasions. After the dinners, Chao's mother, Tsai and Yu reportedly bought a large amount of TDC shares that had been released by the bank. Tsai and Yu have been detained by the Taipei District Court.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday called for a speedy investigation into the case.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday also expressed his support for the investigating prosecutors and called on the public to respect the investigation into the Chao family's alleged involvement in the scandal.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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Joseph Lyu explains calls from Chao Chien-ming

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