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Ex-president's illegal gains, fines amount to NT$1 billion

Ex-president's illegal gains, fines amount to NT$1 billion

Taipei, Jan. 5 (CNA) On a day when former President Chen Shui-bian was released on medical parole, the Supreme Prosecutors Office issued a reminder Monday that Chen and his family have racked up illegal gains and fines of NT$1.01 billion (US$31.55 million) so far. Chen was sentenced to 20 years in jail for a series of convictions on corruption charges between 2010 and 2013, but he was let out of Taichung Prison on medical parole after a team of doctors felt his health was deteriorating. According to the prosecutors office's list, courts have determined in final rulings to date that Chen amassed illegal gains of NT$563 million, and he and his wife Wu Shu-chen have been fined NT$450 million for their illegal behavior. The Supreme Prosecutors Office said that Chen's assets, which were illegally gained from kickbacks on a development project in Lungtan and a Nankang exhibition hall project among others and put in a Swiss bank, have been seized by Swiss Judicial authorities. Two banks -- the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) S.A. -- have remitted US$22.61 million of those assets back to a designated bank account in Taiwan. At home, the prosecutors office said it has seized deposits, stocks and real estate under the names of Chen and his family members to ensure the execution of all cases against Chen. Deposits by Chen's wife, brother-in-law, son and daughter-in-law amounting to NT$48.15 million and stocks in the name of Chen's son worth NT$19.3 million have been seized, the prosecutors office said. One of eight properties owned by Chen and his family members has also been sold, but the funds from the sale have yet to be returned to state coffers because of unsettled tax matters. Several illegal gains sent overseas have yet to be returned to Taiwan. Chen deposited illegal gains of about US$17 million from kickbacks received during a consolidation of the financial sector in another Swiss bank -- Wegelin & Co., the oldest private bank in Switzerland. Taiwan has requested Swiss authorities to freeze the funds, but it has yet to recover the funds. Taiwan also asked Swiss judicial authorities to return another NT$200 million deposited in the country by Chen's family through judicial mutual assistance, a request granted by Swiss prosecutors on April 1, 2014. But Chen's son, Chen Chih-chung, challenged the decision, and the case is still pending. Taiwan has also solicited U.S. help based on judicial mutual assistance. Two of Chen's properties located in New York and Virginia have been auctioned and Taiwan has asked to share in the proceeds of US$1.89 million. (By Liu Shih-yi and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-21 08:14 GMT+08:00