Wed, Jun 26, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Three indicted for illicit currency trade services

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted the owner of a Taipei-based company and two accountants after an investigation implicated them in illegal currency trading, mainly catering to local firms transferring money to China and other countries.

A woman surnamed Chen (陳) and her company’s two accountants, surnamed Lin (林) and Peng (彭), since January 2009 used one of Chen’s firms, Air Escort Express Co (震捷國際物流), to conduct underground currency trading, prosecutors said.

Chen later registered two other companies, Kai Hsin Trade Co (凱新貿易) and De Hsin Trade Co (德新貿易), which were reportedly also used for black market currency trading and money transfers — totaling NT$17.9 billion (US$575.3 million at the current exchange rate) in transfers, they said.

The trio were charged with contravening Article 29 of the Banking Act (銀行法), which prohibits any entity other than a bank from handling domestic or foreign remittances, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the trio mainly provided illicit currency trading and overseas transfer services for Taiwanese firms, primarily exchanging New Taiwan dollars for Chinese yuan and US dollars, but also handled transactions in euros and Hong Kong dollars.

Investigators said the trio also broke the law by lending out their personal bank accounts and those of their relatives to Taiwanese clients to conduct underground money transfers, they said.

Chen allegedly handled a total of about NT$17.2 billion in money transfers from 2009 to February last year, when investigators began scrutinizing her and she resigned from Air Escort Express.

She made about NT$82.79 million over 10 years from commissions and differences between the official and black market currency exchange rates, prosecutors said.

After Chen terminated her purported involvement, Lin and Peng allegedly took over from March to July last year, when they were shut down by authorities.

In that four-month period, the two allegedly handled a total of about NT$695 million in illegal money transfers, from which they made about NT$3.59 million in profit, the prosecutors said.

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