Sat, Mar 10, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Translated indictment sent to the US to bolster case against fugitive tycoon

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, TAIPEI

Excerpts from the 940-page indictment against a fugitive tycoon will be translated into English for delivery to the US in a drive to bring the suspect to justice, a Taipei prosecutor said yesterday.

Chuang Cheng (莊正), the head prosecutor in the Rebar Asia Pacific Group scandal, made the remarks after indicting the group's founder Wang You-theng (王又曾) for a spate of alleged financial crimes, including insider trading, embezzlement of corporate funds, accounting fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison sentence for Wang, as well as a record high fine of NT$1.71 billion (US$52.13 million).

Wang, who fled Taiwan before the investigation into the Rebar Group scandal began in January, has been held at an immigration detention center outside Los Angeles since Feb. 2, pending a decision by the US immigration court on whether to deport him back to Taiwan. Wang made his second appearance in immigration court on Wednesday.

Taiwan has tried in vain to persuade the US government to repatriate Wang so that the octogenarian can stand trial for a series of crimes he has allegedly committed during his long career.

In the wake of Wang's indictment, Chuang said the US government may reconsider Taiwan's request for Wang's repatriation as the accusations against him have become more convincing.

Moreover, the indictment accuses Wang of leading Rebar Group affiliates in large-scale money laundering over a lengthy period involving a sum well over NT$57 billion (about US$1.73 billion).

An additional US$147.05 million that the Wang family had allegedly raked in through other criminal operations was also listed in the indictment as evidence of the family's offshore money laundering activity.

Noting that money laundering has been a priority target in international efforts to combat crime, Chuang said the US has been very sensitive to the risks of money laundering since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001.

"If we can furnish US authorities with evidence of Wang's direct involvement in cross-border money laundering, it will be a valuable bargaining chip in securing Wang's return," Chuang said, adding that the English excerpts to be sent to the US will focus on Wang's supposed leading role in money laundering operations.

Also indicted in the case were Wang's wife -- Wang Chin She-ying (王金世英), his six children and a younger brother, plus nearly 100 Rebar group executives.

Wang and his wife, who fled to China shortly before the scandals broke and later flew to the US, were put on a most wanted list on Jan. 15.

They left the US in late January for Myanmar via Singapore, but were forced to go back to the US after Singapore denied them entry at Taiwan's request. While his wife, with a valid US passport, managed to enter the US upon arrival on Feb. 2, Wang has since that time been held at the center in San Pedro in suburban Los Angeles.

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