Taiwan investigators raid SinoPac and question chairman

Case involves illegal NT$5 billion loan to overseas company: reports

SinoPac Holdings Chairman Ho Show-chung. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors raided 13 homes and offices while summoning SinoPac Financial Holdings (永豐金控) Chairman Ho Show-chung (何壽川) for questioning about alleged illegal loans worth NT$5 billion (US$164.7 million), reports said Friday.

Ho, 72, gained prominence as the head of Yuen Foong Yu Paper Manufacturing Group (YFY, 永豐餘) and later ventured into the financial sector with SinoPac Financial Holdings, which includes Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行).

From October 2009, Grand Capital International Ltd., a company controlled 100 percent by a SinoPac affiliate, loaned NT$5 billion to J&R Trading Co., a business which existed only on paper, according to media reports.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office on Friday took to the road with 13 warrants to raid homes and offices in Taipei City and New Taipei City, while 23 suspects and witnesses, including Ho, were summoned for questioning, reports said. The interviews would focus on suspected violations of the Securities and Exchange Act (證交法).

SinoPac was already being investigated in a scandal last year which involved illegal loans to an importer of dentistry equipment. In a separate case, the group had allegedly loaned funds to an overseas company where Ho’s wife served on the board in order to gain control over an office building in Shanghai. SinoPac denied the allegations and said Ho’s wife had left the other company’s board.