Two arrested for posing as Myanmar government representatives

Two men have been arrested for fraud and forgery after they formed a shell office and claimed they represented Myanmar's government to try to swindle foreign labor brokerage firms and lure companies for investment.

The two, Yu Cheng-chung (余政忠) and Lo Chun-yao (羅群耀), formed the Taipei Economic and Trade Center Limited (台北經濟貿易中心-緬甸代表處, TETC) in Taipei in July, claiming that it is the only authorized agency to export Myanmar laborers, according to prosecutors.

On Wednesday, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office raided the office and summoned the two for questioning.

Yu was later detained, while Lo was released on an NT$50,000 (US$ 1,550) bail. The latter was also prohibited from leaving the country.

The investigators said that many foreign laborer brokerage firms paid the two men more than NT$3 million, only to find that their hope of finding Myanmar laborers fell through after a long wait.

The suspects also had bragged to local banks that they can help them establish branches in Myanmar and engage in financing operation for projects in the country, according to prosecutors.

They even forged a 5 billion euro letter of credit from HSBC in an attempt to defraud a company to invest 500,000 euro, prosecutors said.

Investigators later checked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and found that the official representative office in Taiwan is the Myanmar Trade Office (Taipei), the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (緬甸聯邦共和國駐台北貿易辦事處), and not the one set up by the two.

(By Lin Chang-hsun and Lilian Wu)