Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) founder Chang An-le (張安樂) and five other party members with taking illicit political donations, embezzlement, tax evasion and forging financial documents, with some of the charges related to funds received from China.
Chang, also known by his Bamboo Union triad nickname “White Wolf,” in 2005 established the CUPP in Taipei. The party has run in local elections and is known for its members waving Chinese flags at rallies.
Prosecutors said that Chang and the party members made illegal gains of about NT$36 million (US$1.14 million) in contravention of the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法), the Business Entity Accounting Act (商業會計法), the Banking Act (銀行法) and the Company Act (公司法).
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Investigators found that Chang distributed 1,000 red envelopes containing NT$10,000 each to Hualien City residents who were affected by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in February last year.
During questioning, Chang said the money came from China, but denied that it came from the Chinese Communist Party.
“It was a way for China to help the earthquake victims in Taiwan. Hopefully China can make such donations directly in the future,” investigators quoted him as saying. “It was for Taiwanese to be grateful and feel good about the benevolence of the Chinese government.”
Prosecutors also charged Chang’s son, Chang Wei (張瑋); Lee Hsin-yi (李新一), who had briefly served as CUPP chairman; Chang Wei’s wife, Wang Shu-yin (王姝茵); and two other party members.
Investigators found that Chang An-le and the other party members received about NT$2.1 million from individual donors in 2006, but the money was not put into a dedicated party account as required by the Political Donations Act.
In 2010, Chang Wei registered Huaxia Dadi Travel Service Co in New Taipei City to offer Chinese groups package tours to Taiwan, according to the Tourism Bureau’s Web site.
However, investigators found that Chang Wei had borrowed NT$6 million from his friends as capital and transferred the money to another bank account after the company’s establishment in contravention of the Business Entity Accounting Act and the Company Act.
Investigators found that in 2015 and 2016, Chang Wei, his wife and father embezzled NT$13.89 million from the travel company, transferring the firm’s funds to their personal accounts, Taipei Deputy Chief Prosecutor Chen Chia-hsiu (陳佳秀) said.
The Chang family set up Strategic Sports Co in Dongguan in China’s Guangdong Province, which an earlier probe found was used as a conduit to channel money from Chinese sources to fund the CUPP’s activities, prosecutors said.
Bank records show that in 2014 and 2015, Strategic Sports transferred about NT$8.97 million to Huaxia Dadi Travel Service as business revenue, but prosecutors found evidence that the Chang family embezzled the money for personal use, Chen said.
Investigators also found that Strategic Sports transferred NT$28.27 million to the travel company from 2013 to 2015, but Chang Wei did not record those under the company’s assets in contravention of the Business Entity Accounting Act, Chen said.
Chang An-le ordered CUPP executives to use the travel company’s name to rent 10 pickup trucks between October 2015 and the end of last year to be used in party events and rallies, accumulating rental fees of NT$4.47 million, investigators found.
The rental fees should have been recorded as contributions to the CUPP, but Chang Wei recorded them under the travel company’s financial statements, leading to a loss of NT$487,800 in tax revenue, prosecutors said.
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