Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Committee gives ex-trustees time to declare assets

DEADLINE EXTENSION:The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee set a new deadline, as some people might be unaware the law applies to them

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng, center, and other members of the committee yesterday in Taipei explain the assets declaration requirements of the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations.

Photo: CNA

Individuals or groups that served as a trustee to a political party or party-affiliated organization have four months to declare their assets, or face a fine of up to NT$5 million (US$165,700), the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said yesterday.

Committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng (林峰正) said that the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例) stipulates that political parties, party-affiliated organizations and their current or former trustees are required to declare their assets within one year of the act’s promulgation on Aug. 10 last year.

“However, considering that the public might still be unfamiliar with the relevant statutes, the committee decided to extend the asset declaration deadline by four months. If you are required to file a report, but fail to do so before March 1 next year, a fine of between NT$1 million and NT$5 million will be issued,” Lin told a news conference in Taipei.

Committee member Lien Li-jen (連立堅) said people might not know that they are required to declare their assets, as they are unaware of Article 8 of the act, which extends the obligation to individuals or companies entrusted with managing assets of an organization that was a political party or a party-affiliate between Aug. 15, 1945, and Aug. 10 last year.

“For example, attorney Lin Heng-chih (林恆志) in August reported a sum of about NT$64 million that was put in his trust in September 2015 by Central Investment Co (中投資產). The money was originally reserved for litigation costs,” Lien said.

Lin Heng-chih is a board member of Central Investment, which was in November last year ruled by the committee as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) affiliate.

However, Lin Heng-chih was not the first person to be entrusted with the money, but was the only one report its existence, Lien said, adding that other trustees before him are also legally required to come forward.

He said that a fine could be issued every 10 days in the case of continued noncompliance.

Lin Feng-jeng said that so far only three of 10 parties covered by the act have declared their assets, including, in order of declaration, the China Democratic Socialist Party, the Democratic Progressive Party and the KMT.

After sending three reminders to the other seven parties, the committee decided to extend the original deadline of Aug. 11 to Nov. 24.

The act only applies to parties established before July 15, 1987, when martial law was lifted.

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