Fri, Dec 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Police detain property speculator

Staff Writer, with CNA

Kuo Chi-fen, center, wife of property speculator Huang Yung-yi, leaves court yesterday after being granted NT$8 million bail. Huang is being investigated for tax evasion on property transactions.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

One of the nation’s biggest property speculators was detained and held incommunicado yesterday after police hunted him down on charges of tax evasion and document forgery.

Prosecutors said Huang Yung-yi (黃勇義), 48, evaded payment of taxes to the tune of NT$1.15 billion (US$38.33 million) from property transactions, mostly in Da-an District (大安) in eastern Taipei, over the past five years.

They found that Huang had bought and sold 940 residential and commercial properties since 2006, using 38 individuals — mostly from his extended family network — as a front.

Thirteen other people, including Huang’s wife, were also questioned on Wednesday as witnesses or accomplices.

If convicted for violating the Tax Collection Act (稅捐稽徵法) , the Business Entity Accounting Act ( 商業會計法) and the Criminal Code, Huang is expected to have to pay NT$3.9 billion in overdue taxes and fines.

He also risks a jail term of up to five years.

Huang’s arrest comes as a shot in the arm amid the ongoing outcry for “housing justice.”

Ordinary homebuyers and experts have long called for transparency in home transaction prices and a fair property transaction tax to help curb property speculation.

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