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Nine ex-FAT employees indicted by prosecutors

Nine ex-FAT employees indicted by prosecutors

Prosecutors indicted nine people yesterday for embezzlement and related offenses in the financial troubles of defunct airline Far Eastern Air Transport.
Former chairman Stephen Tsui, former president Philip Chen and seven other suspects siphoned a total of more than NT$2.3 billion from the company, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors want Tsui to spend 18 years in prison, Chen 14 years, and another former chairman, Benny Hu (胡定吾), six years. The list of the nine indicted also included former finance official Robert Wu and Lou Wen-hao, an official at the Taiwan branch of Cambodia's Angkor Airways Corporation.
Over a ten-year period starting in 1997, Tsui allegedly siphoned NT$665 million from the company into a subsidiary which he turned into his own private company, prosecutors said. He had FAT pay various service and consulting fees to his company.
Tsui later repeated a similar formula with other outside companies, some of them co-founded with Chen, prosecutors said. Money owed to FAT by travel agents and other clients allegedly also landed in his private accounts, according to prosecutors.
Chen was released on bail of NT$2 million last June 27 after having given information against Tsui, prosecutors said. Lou was released on bail of NT$4 million on July 17.
Prosecutors have been unable to recover the missing funds, as Tsui is suspected of having hidden his alleged illegal gains overseas, prosecutors said.
FAT was founded in 1957 as a domestic airline. In later years, it expanded overseas with routes to South Korea's Jeju island, to the Pacific nation of Palau, and to destinations in Southeast Asia.
Over the past few years, FAT faced steep rises in fuel prices and competition from the high speed rail service between Taipei and Kaohsiung.
The airline stopped flying earlier this year, unable to pay its more than 1,000 staff. Reports of interest from domestic and foreign companies to invest and restart the airline have failed to yield any results.

Updated : 2021-05-09 19:11 GMT+08:00