Sun, May 28, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chao investigation seeks origins of account deposits

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office yesterday said investigators were seeking answers to where huge deposits made into the bank accounts of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) in-laws came from. Prosecutors indicated that they believed some of the deposits were illegal.

"We discovered that huge deposits were made into the bank accounts of the parents and younger brother of the President's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘). We suspect Chao used his families' accounts to deposit the money," Taipei District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑) told the Taipei Times yesterday.

Some of the deposits seemed suspicious, added Lin.

He said prosecutors would be busy this week probing where the deposits came from, and would also summon more people for questioning.

Chao Chien-ming has been held in custody since Friday.

Chinese language newspaper the China Times yesterday reported that six pharmaceutical companies paid a total of NT$23 million (US$718,000) into the accounts of his parents and younger brother in June last year.

Lin said prosecutors had raided the companies and summoned officials for questioning.

The report said that last August Chao Chien-ming received NT$27 million which was then deposited into his younger brother's account.

The report also said that last August, Waterland Securities Co board director Tsai Chin-wen (蔡清文), also detained for his alleged involvement in the insider trading of Taiwan Development Corp (TDC) shares, deposited NT$27 million into Chao's father, Chao Yu-chu's (趙玉柱), account.

Meanwhile, another Chinese-language newspaper, the United Daily News, yesterday reported the NT$27 million Tsai gave to Chao Chien-ming was a bribe for Chao's help in aiding the president of Nice Group Chen Jer-fang (陳哲芳) to win the leadership of Waterland Financial Holdings Co last year.

Nice Group runs Central Insurance Co, Jianhushan Fancy World theme park, Bowa Bank, food manufacturer AGV Products Corp and Waterland Financial Holdings.

The United Daily News said investigators were planning to summon Chen Jer-fang for questioning.

Prosecutor Lin yesterday refused to confirm either report.

The scandal dates back to last summer when TDC chairman, Su Teh-jien (蘇德建), Chang Hwa Commercial Bank chairman Chang Po-shin (張伯欣), bank president Chen Chen-chao (陳辰昭) and another bank official dined with Chao Chien-ming, Tsai and businessman Yu Shih-yi (游世一) at a Japanese restaurant in Taipei on two separate occasions.

Officials suspect that the seven discussed the trading of TDC shares on both occasions because Tsai and Yu reportedly bought large numbers of TDC shares released by the bank.

Su, Tsai and Yu have also been detained by the Taipei District Court.

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