Probe into Taiwan ex-president leads to Singapore


A Taiwanese prosecutor is due to head to Singapore to investigate alleged money-laundering by former president Chen Shui-bian and his family, a report here said Wednesday.

Prosecutor Ching Chi-jen would probe allegations that the Chen family had transferred funds to Switzerland via the Singapore bank accounts of Chen’s brother-in-law Wu Ching-mao, said the United Daily News.


An official at the Taipei district prosecutor’s office said Ching would attend a conference in Singapore this month but declined to comment on the investigation.

The report came after Singapore’s de facto embassy in Taiwan issued a statement Monday offering to assist Taiwan in the probe.

The prosecutor recently returned from Switzerland to help officials there in their investigation into money-laundering apparently implicating Chen’s son Chen Chih-chung and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching.

Thirty-one million US dollars were sent to Huang’s Swiss bank accounts in 2007, according to copies of Swiss documents obtained by a Taiwan lawmaker.

The former president has admitted that his wife Wu Shu-chen had wired abroad 20 million US dollars from his past campaign funds, saying she had done so without his knowledge. But he has denied money-laundering.

Chen, his wife, son, daughter-in-law and brother-in-law were all named defendants in the case and barred from leaving the island.

But the ex-president’s son and son’s wife flew to the United States several days before the scandal broke last week.

Chen is already under investigation for allegedly embezzling 14.8 million Taiwan dollars (480,500 US) in special expenses while he was president, and his wife is on trial for corruption and document forgery in the same case.

Chen has admitted using false receipts to claim state money, but insisted those funds were for “secret diplomatic missions” and not his personal benefit.

Nevertheless, prosecutors found that at least 1.5 million Taiwan dollars had been spent on diamond rings and other luxury items for his wife.

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