Sat, Mar 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ministry seeking to close loophole after man flees

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Justice yesterday said it was working to locate the whereabouts of a fugitive nicknamed “the underground financial godfather,” who has reportedly fled to China.

Vice Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) said that if Wan Chung (萬眾) had indeed fled to China, the ministry would pursue him under agreements signed by Taiwan and China governing joint crackdowns on crime and extension of mutual judicial assistance.

As Wan went missing before he was scheduled to start a three-and-a-half-year prison term last year, Chen said that the ministry would ask the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office to launch an investigation into the period between Wan’s conviction and the scheduled start of his prison term.

Chen said that there might have been blind spots in the monitoring system.

“The ministry has drafted a proposal which seeks to revise the law in order to better keep track of defendants and plug a loophole,” Chen said.

Wan was the head of a company which was allegedly engaged in extending unapproved loans, and was accused of providing illegal loans to cash-strapped listed companies and big enterprises. It was also alleged that between 1998 and 2001 he used violent methods to collect debts.

Prosecutors estimated that Wan had profited by around NT$600 million (US$20.24 million) from employing such methods.

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office indicted Wan in 2003 and the Supreme Court eventually sentenced him to three years and six months in prison in December last year.

He is now wanted by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office, as well as the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, on charges of forgery and intimidation.

Wan reportedly donated US$2 million to Justin Lin (林毅夫), founder of the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University for the expansion of the center.

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