Taiwan opposition demands probe of legislator who forgot millions on train

DPP lawmaker threatens lawsuits against allegations of money laundering

DPP legislator Chen Ming-wen.

DPP legislator Chen Ming-wen. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) on Wednesday (September 4) demanded that the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) and the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) open an investigation into how legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) forgot NT$3 million (US$95,500) in cash on a train the previous day.

Chen explained he had meant to hand over the money to his eldest son to buy tea processing equipment and to take to the Philippines to invest in a beverage shop.

However, the story raised questions about several legal aspects, according to a report by Storm Media.

KMT lawmakers said that any withdrawal of at least NT$500,000 had to be reported to the MJIB anti-money laundering center, while the maximum limit for cash to be taken out of the country stood at NT$100,000.

Both the MJIB and the FSC will be asked to present special reports at the Legislative Yuan after it opens its new session later this month, KMT lawmakers said.

They emphasized one of the key points of the whole affair was to pin down the origin of the money. If the funds were withdrawn from a bank account, the bank should have registered the withdrawal and reported it to the MJIB, but if the money did not come from a bank, then a further explanation was needed, the opposition politicians said.

As Chen’s son said the money was given by his mother, relevant tax laws also came into play, with the maximum amount that could be donated without paying taxes set at NT$2.2 million, according to the KMT.

Chen, a senior member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) described as close to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), said he would sue anyone he deemed was tarnishing his reputation with malicious accusations, Storm Media reported.