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Foreign aid to be sought to crack money-laundering case: premier

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said Thursday that Cabinet agencies have been collaborating to solve the alleged money-laundering case involving former President Chen Shui-bian and his family.
"We will seek international help to facilitate the probe into the case if necessary," Liu said during an inspection tour of Ministry of Justice operations and establishments in Taipei County.
He reiterated the administration's resolve to break the case "in order to return justice to the country."
Chen, his wife Wu Shu-jen and Wu's elder brother Wu Ching-mao were listed earlier this week as suspects in the case and have been barred from leaving the country.
The Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office decided Thursday to summon Chen's son Chen Chih-chung and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching -- who have already left the country -- for questioning as suspects within days.
At issue is a report from the Egmont Group -- an international anti-money laundering organization -- that the Investigation Bureau's Money Laundering Prevention Center received in January, which details the status of bank accounts created by Chen's family members in other countries, including the United States, the Cayman Islands, Singapore and Switzerland.
Wu Shu-jen claimed last week during questioning at her residence by prosecutors that US$21 million deposited in the family's various overseas bank accounts was "all legal income." The money is distributed among three different accounts -- two in Switzerland held in the name of Huang Jui-ching and one in Singapore in the name of Wu Ching-mao.
Chen admitted several days ago that he did not faithfully report the election campaign expenses from his two mayoral elections and two presidential elections between 1993 and 2004, but claimed he was unaware that the balance of the funds was wired abroad by his wife until early this year.
He rejected the idea that the funds wired overseas could be connected to his "state affairs fund" case and a recent scandal involving a botched attempt to win Papua New Guinea as a diplomatic ally.
An anonymous prosecutor said Monday he suspected the source of the money might be "more complicated" than originally thought

Updated : 2021-06-14 22:41 GMT+08:00