The Ministry of Justice said yesterday it would negotiate with US authorities about the disposal of two properties in the US owned by the former first family.
The properties in New York and Virginia were acquired by the family of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), allegedly with bribes, according to a statement released on Wednesday by the US Department of Justice.
The US department said it has confiscated the two properties — a condominium in Manhattan and a residence in Keswick, Virginia — which have a combined value of about US$2.1 million.
The Ministry of Justice and related government agencies will discuss the matter before negotiating with the US department on how proceeds from the disposal of the properties should be divided, Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) said.
Under US law, parties that have provided assistance to locate assets obtained with illegal funds can ask to share the proceeds from the sale of such properties, the deputy minister said at a news conference.
He said Taiwan maintains judicial cooperation with Washington and had asked for help to find properties purchased by the former first family with the use of bribes.
“We will discuss the matter with the relevant agencies” and will negotiate with the US to see if both sides can share the proceeds, Chen Shou-huang said.
Chen Shui-bian’s family used Hong Kong and Swiss bank accounts, British Virgin Islands companies and a St Kitts and Nevis trust to buy the two properties, according to the US Department of Justice.
The purchases were allegedly made with proceeds from a bribe of NT$200 million (US$6 million) accepted by former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) from Yuanta Securities Co in 2004, the department said. The properties were registered under the name of her son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中).
“The former president of Taiwan’s family allegedly accepted millions in bribes in exchange for official action favoring Yuanta Securities, and we have now taken possession of two valuable properties purchased with their alleged spoils,” US Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division said.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said the action was part of a continued effort by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents to identify, locate and seize properties and accounts in the US belonging to Chen Shui-bian and his family.
“HSI will continue to find and seize the US assets of foreign corrupt officials who try to use our country to conceal the illicit proceeds and profits of their crimes,” Morton said.
SMALL RESPITE: The past few rainy days, which came after one month of virtually no rain on the west coast, did not ease Taiwan’s water shortage problems, the CWB said A weather system from southern China has over the past three days replenished Taiwan’s reservoirs with almost 16 million tonnes of water, giving Taiwan a slight relief from a water shortage, the Water Resources Agency (WRA) said yesterday. From 12am on Tuesday to 4pm yesterday, about 15.97 million tonnes fell in the catchment areas of the nation’s reservoirs, which is slightly more than Taiwan’s average daily water use, it said. However, the rain would ease today, with only isolated showers forecast in Hualien and Taitung counties, as well as in southern Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said. For other regions, cloudy to
A debt dispute between a restaurant owner and a criminal ring might be behind a bizarre cockroach attack at the Taipei eatery on Monday night while it was hosting a police gathering, Taipei Police Commissioner Chen Jia-chang (陳嘉昌) said yesterday. Preliminary findings of a police investigation into the case at the G House Taipei suggest that the unusual incident might have been directed at the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly owes money to the Bamboo Union, Chen said. The suspects were Bamboo Union members and there was no evidence indicating that the cockroaches were targeted at the police officers at the restaurant, he
Taiwan’s armed forces should closely monitor China’s development of a new tanker aircraft, as it would significantly boost the Chinese air force’s capability to carry out long-range raids, a military expert said on Wednesday. Ou Si-fu (歐錫富), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said in an online article that China is developing a tanker variant of its Y-20 military transport aircraft, known as the Y-20U. The Y-20 has a maximum take-off weight of 220 tonnes and the tanker variant is expected to carry up to 60 tonnes of fuel, more than three times the maximum
TRAVELING WHILE CONTAGIOUS: The highest risk of infection is indoors, especially in settings where people take off their masks to eat and drink, an expert warned The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday posted a list of places visited by people who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 while they were likely contagious, urging people who visited the sites at the same time to practice self-health management. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that confirmed case No. 1,129 — a woman in her 60s who works at Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, a designated quarantine facility, and tested positive on Friday — visited Chiayi between Friday last week and Monday. On the first day of her trip, she visited the Big Chiayi