TransAsia chief questioned about insider trading

Prosecutors summon 12 witnesses

TransAsia Chairman Vincent Lin.

TransAsia Chairman Vincent Lin. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors questioned TransAsia Airways Chairman Vincent Lin and searched offices Friday in their investigation into alleged insider trading related to the planned dissolution of the airline.

The authorities reportedly uncovered a suspiciously high amount of transactions in TransAsia shares last Monday, the day before the airline’s board unexpectedly announced the company would immediately halt all flights and move toward dissolution.

The planned demise of the 65-year-old airline has touched off a storm of protests from staff, passengers, travel agencies and shareholders, with the government scrambling to find a solution.

Lin, who has made headlines before with a collection of about two dozen German sports cars, was brought in for questioning by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office Friday afternoon after the investigators raided TransAsia headquarters as well as his home and five other locations.

The first of the 12 witnesses summoned to be transferred for a second round of questioning was reportedly Lin’s father Lin Shiaw-shinn, who heads TransAsia parent holding Sigmu Group, the Taiwan Secom private security group and the Goldsun Development and Construction Company.

The elder Lin reportedly said in a recent review that relatives of his had sold their shares in TransAsia, though he denied their actions amounted to insider trading, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported.