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Taiwanese politician James Soong had NT$415 million in Swiss bank account: Leaked report

Soong has yet to comment on report

James Soong. 

James Soong.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese politician James Soong (宋楚瑜) has appeared on a client list issued by Credit Suisse to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which is run by a consortium of investigative reporters.

A link to the report was included in a Facebook post on Monday (Feb. 21) by Vincent Chao (趙怡翔), who is running for Taipei city councilor. CNA reporters were unable to contact Soong for a statement before 11 p.m. Monday night, per CNA.

The Suisse Secrets data leak, as the OCCRP has termed it, includes details of about 30,000 Credit Suisse clients that include dozens of corrupt government officials, criminals, and alleged human rights abusers, per OCCRP. The findings, first leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung by a whistleblower, have been jointly published by New York Times, the Guardian, and other international outlets.

The report showed Taiwan’s opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), had previously accused him of embezzling millions from the party coffers, though the allegations were later dropped. The report also mentioned accusations by a former French foreign minister that Soong received kickbacks from a 1991 Taiwan Navy procurement deal which was formalized while Soong was secretary-general of the KMT.

The report showed Soong opened a personal account in 1993. Chao pointed out that this is the year Soong moved from being chairperson of the KMT to Governor of Taiwan Province — a legacy position that has since been dissolved.

By the time this account closed in 2010, Soong had accrued a balance of 13.67 million Swiss francs (NT$415 million). Chao said Soong should respond to the revelations as soon as possible and tell Taiwanese why he opened a Swiss bank account and where the money came from.