TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese businessperson Xiang Xin (向心) and his wife Kong Qing (龔青) will soon be allowed to end a four-year stay in Taiwan after they were found not guilty of money laundering in a spy case, reports said Thursday (Oct. 12).
The CEO of China Innovation Investment Ltd. (CIIL) and his wife, an alternate board member of the company, first faced accusations by Wang Liqiang (王立強), a Chinese national who turned himself over to the Australian authorities in 2019, that they had recruited him to spy for China. After prosecutors dismissed the case the first time around, they charged the couple with money laundering.
Xiang and Kong were accused of moving illegal profits from China via Hong Kong to Taiwan to buy two luxury apartment buildings in Taipei City’s fashionable Xinyi District.
However, after a district court and the high court found them not guilty, prosecutors decided not to file any appeals, CNA reported. As a result, the couple could look forward to the end of a travel ban, which would allow them to leave Taiwan for the first time in four years.
Xiang and Kong told the courts they had not known the funds from China had been the result of fraud, while the Taipei District Court and the Taiwan High Court ruled there was no evidence the couple was laundering money by buying the buildings.
New regulations in favor of speeding up the judicial process stipulated that an appeal against the High Court verdict was only allowed under a limited number of circumstances. The decision by prosecutors not to file an appeal by Wednesday (Oct. 11) at the latest in effect ended the case.
Xiang and Kong were now free to apply for an end to the travel restrictions, which required a separate court decision. They had been deemed a flight risk because most of their relatives lived in Hong Kong and China.
Separately, the investigation into allegations they had used the Taipei City buildings as a base for Chinese spies in the runup to elections was still continuing. A lack of cooperation from authorities in Australia and China had been hampering accusations they had violated the National Security Act, according to the CNA report.