Judicial investigators yesterday raided the head office of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP) in Taipei on suspicion that it was receiving funding from China to carry out destabilizing activities in Taiwan, including financing the campaigns of certain candidates in the November nine-in-one elections.
Prosecutors and judicial units also searched the residence of CUPP founder Chang An-le (張安樂) — the former gangster known as the “White Wolf” (白狼) — and the homes of other leading party figures, including his son, Chang Wei (張瑋).
Six people — including Chang An-le, CUPP Chairman Chang Fu-tang (張馥堂) and CUPP Secretary-General Tang Ching-sheng (唐警生 ) — were summoned for questioning by prosecutors.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
Taipei prosecutors said they formed a task force in September last year to investigate the CUPP’s background financiers, money flow channels and where the money ended up amid allegations that the funds were going to similar pro-China groups and individuals in Taiwan.
Prosecutors said they have gathered evidence of illegal activities that contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) and the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪防制條例).
Chang An-le had just returned to Taiwan from Shenzhen, China, where he reportedly had cataract surgery. Prosecutors had waited for him to return to his home in New Taipei City on Sunday before making their move.
Prosecutors told reporters that they had searched his home for materials relating to the probe and had confiscated his mobile phone to prevent him from colluding with party members and destroying evidence.
They had also collected 13 boxes containing documents, computers, USB drives and bank details from the CUPP head office.
Before answering the prosecutors’ summons last night, Chang An-le went to the CUPP office in the afternoon, where he spoke in public, admitting that the party receives funding from China, but denying that it came from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“CUPP funding does not come from any government. The money came from my company’s operating profits in China. It can be counted as money coming from China, but it did not come from the CCP,” Chang An-le said.
“The DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] government is using the judiciary to persecute me,” he said. “If this government wants to do so, go ahead and indict me, but do not involve my family members... This is selective prosecution, as there are other politicians in Taiwan who have received political donations [from China].”
Legislators have said that Chang An-le, a former top leader of the Bamboo Union gang who has extensive ties to political and business circles in China, had established the Taolue (“Strategy”) Group (韜略集團), with offices in Hong Kong and Dongguang City, China, with his two sons — Chang Wei and Chang Hsun (張珣) — registered as directors of a group subsidiary — Strategic Sports Ltd (韜略運動器材) in Dongguan.
Chinese officials and people connected to Chinese state-run corporations have allegedly provided funding to Chang An-le and the CUPP, with the money being laundered through Taolue Group and transferred to Taiwan.
Prosecutors said that while CUPP’s list shows that it has 20,000 members, the party had only received annual political donations of between NT$1 million and NT$2 million (US$32,657 and US$65,315) in the past five years, with annual personnel expenses of only NT$100,000.
The perceived discrepancy and dubious expense figures prompted investigators to focus on its sources of funding, with the party suspected of engaging in illegal transfers of money from China to fund activities aimed at destabilizing Taiwanese society, they said.
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