Thu, Oct 04, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Prosecutors extend custody of Rebar scandal defendants

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The Taipei District Court ruled yesterday that 10 defendants connected with the Rebar Asia Pacific Group (力霸亞太企業集團) scandal will remain in custody for two more months after their current custody term expires.

The court said the defendants -- who include several family members of Wang You-theng (王又曾), the fugitive founder of the Rebar Asia Pacific Group -- had embezzled money from various subsidiaries of the Rebar group and had played major roles in the scheme.

The evidence is against them, Taipei District Court spokesman Liu Shou-sung (劉壽嵩) said.

The embezzlement not only affected the economy, but has had widespread ramifications for society as a whole, Liu said.

Liu said that to facilitate the trial, the defendants would be held in custody until Dec. 8.

Also, as they have committed felonies, there is no limit on the number of times their custody can be extended, which under other circumstances would be limited to once or twice.

The 10 defendants include Wang's younger brother Frank Wang (王事展) and three of Wang You-theng's children -- China Rebar Co (中國力霸) vice chairman Wang Lin-tai (王令台), Asia Pacific broadband Telecom Co (亞太固網寬頻) president Wang Lin-i (王令一) and Chia Hsin Food and Synthetic Fiber Co (嘉新食品化纖) chairman Wang Lin-chiao (王令僑) as well as top executives working for Wang in various companies.

In a March indictment, the prosecution said the Wang family had obtained illegal benefits by setting up numerous dummy corporations through which they engaged in fraud, insider trading and embezzlement on a massive scale.

The scandal came to light in early January when two of its member companies -- Chia Hsin Food and Synthetic Co and China Rebar Co -- filed for bankruptcy restructuring with the Taipei District Court.

The move sparked a run on the Chinese Bank, another Rebar subsidiary that has since been taken over by the state-run Central Deposit Insurance Corp ( 中央存保).

Wang You-theng and his wife, Wang Chin She-ying (王金世英), are on the nation's most-wanted list.

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