Thu, Dec 29, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh Wei-chou rebuts gambling report

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Hsieh Wei-chou (謝維洲) — son of Taiwan’s representative to Japan and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) — yesterday rebutted a news report that he is mired in debt from losses on the sports lottery.

An online news report yesterday said that Hsieh Wei-chou had run up a debt of almost NT$10 million (US$309,511).

The councilor, of the Beitou (北投) and Shilin (士林) constituencies, was a regular at lottery stations in the two districts, the report said.

According to the report, Hsieh Wei-chou, said that in the first half of the year he had cleared all his debt.

“I do not buy sports lottery tickets anymore. Now, I just focus on my work as city councilor,” Hsieh Wei-chou was quoted as saying.

A source at the Taipei City Council contradicted that statement, saying that Hsieh Wei-chou’s mother, Yu Fang-chih (游芳枝), had returned from Japan to help her son settle a debt, the report said.

Hsieh Wei-chou became obsessed with the sports lottery after his friends from military service introduced him to it, the source said.

According to the source, Hsieh Wei-chou significantly raised the stakes of his wagers after being elected Taipei city councilor in 2014, which caused him to become burdened with a huge debt that he repaid in part using low-interest loans that Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank offers to Taipei city councilors, which have an upper limit of NT$2 million, and by borrowing money in the name of his office.

Frank Hsieh was reportedly furious over his son’s behavior, even once telling him that he “might as well die,” according to the report.

Hsieh Wei-chou said on Facebook yesterday that the report was inaccurate, as he had bought sports lottery tickets before, but had not incurred any debts because of it.

He dismissed the allegations that he had used the low-interest loans to pay his debts, saying that he took out the loan to repay money he owed his supporters during his election campaign.

He apologized to his supporters over his “indiscretion,” saying that he would reflect on his behavior.

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