Mon, Oct 20, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors question three Yuanta officials

SCRUTINY A spokesman said that Victor Ma and Michael Ma, sons of Yuanta Group Chairman Rudy Ma, had cooperated and had not been banned from leaving Taiwan


Three Yuanta Financial Holdings Co officials were questioned by prosecutors yesterday during their investigation into former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) alleged money laundering.

Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), spokesman for the Special Investigation Panel of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, said general-manager of Yuanta Holdings Victor Ma and its chief operating official Michael Ma, were questioned as witnesses in the morning and the pair were released in the afternoon. Victor Ma and Michael Ma are sons of Yuanta Group chairman Rudy Ma (馬志玲).

Yuanta official Lin Ming-yi (林明義) was also interviewed yesterday then released.

On Friday, prosecutors investigating the high-profile case raided offices of three of the country’s largest financial holding groups looking for evidence.

Chen said prosecutors discovered that subsidiaries of the three business groups — Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) and China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) — had connections to bank accounts held by suspects in the case.

Prosecutors suspected several money transfers from the banks to the former first family’s foreign bank accounts.

The spokesman yesterday said the trio had cooperated. Prosecutors have not banned them from leaving the country, he said.

Chen Shui-bian is under investigation for alleged embezzlement of public funds by using other people’s spending receipts to gain reimbursements from a special “state affairs fund” set aside for his discretionary use for official purposes. His wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), has also been indicted in the case.

Prosecutors are now investigating whether any portion of the “state affairs fund” had been wired to the overseas bank accounts of the former first family members during his eight-year presidency.

According to Chen Shui-bian, the money in the overseas bank accounts was the balance of political contributions for his two mayoral and two presidential bids between 1993 and 2004.

He has claimed he is innocent, insisting that he didn’t misuse a penny of the “state affairs funds.”

He has also denied that members of his family had laundered money.

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