A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator yesterday said a younger brother of the director of the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau (MJIB) had been placed on the wanted list after fleeing the country to avoid corruption charges.
DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) told a press conference that bureau Director Chang Ji-ping’s (張濟平) younger brother, Colonel Chang Kao-ping (張高平), had been investigated on suspicions he had embezzled public funds when he served as deputy director of the Budget, Accounting and Statistics Department of the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) in 2002.
Tuan said an investigation into MIB classified accounts in 2002 had revealed signs of funds being transferred from two accounts, Changjie and Fuxing, that the MIB had set up for agents operating behind enemy lines.
MJIB agents completed the investigation and Shihlin prosecutors indicted Chang Kao-ping on corruption charges in 2006, Tuan said.
National Security Bureau (NSB) chief accountant Hsu Ping-chiang (徐炳強), MIB logistics division chief Chin Chien (金堅) and then-Executive Yuan chief accountant Yu Chien-min (于建民) were also accused of embezzling the NT$35 million (US$1.18 million) from the accounts.
However, after Chang Kao-ping was called in for questioning, he took a fishing boat out of Donggang Township (東港) in Pingtung County to Xiamen before going to Canada, Tuan said.
Chang Kao-ping has been on the wanted list since 2006, he added.
Because Chang Ji-ping was then the head of the MJIB’s Kaohsiung branch, Tuan said that it was logical to wonder if Chang Ji-ping had played a role in his brother’s escape.
As head of the bureau, Chang Ji-ping has the power to bury his brother’s case, Tuan said, adding that there were too many coincidences in the incident.
Tuan also alleged that Chang Kao-ping’s successful relocation to Canada might also indicate the involvement of Chinese intelligence units.
DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) said the same year Chang Kao-ping fled Taiwan, Chang Ji-ping was transferred back to MJIB headquarters, where he assumed the position of deputy chairman of the bureau’s training committee.
Chiu said the transfer meant that Chang Ji-ping was “frozen,” but after the change in government in 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) “un-froze” Chang Ji-ping and appointed him head of the bureau.
In response, the MJIB said Chang Kao-ping retired from the military in August 2006 and that he and his family had immigrated to Canada the same year.
While it confirmed that Chang Ji-ping had served as deputy director of the MJIB’s training committee at the time, it said the position was unrelated to the bureau’s criminal investigation affairs and that he was therefore not involved in his brother’s case.
It said it had not covered up Chang Kao-ping’s escape, adding that during the investigation, it was not known that Chang Kao-ping was the brother of Chang Ji-ping.
The bureau said it had only learned of the fact yesterday, adding that it had already listed Chang Kao-ping as wanted.
Chang Ji-ping, overseas on business, could not be reached for comments, the MIB said.
Chang Ji-ping is going to retire from the bureau in July at age 65.
Media have speculated that Chang Ji-ping is likely to assume a high post at the National Security Bureau after he leaves the MJIB.
The NSB and Ministry of Justice declined to comment on the case yesterday because it was ongoing.