Arrest of fugitive business tycoon under verification by China: SEF


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) is awaiting verification results from China on a reported arrest of a fugitive Taiwanese business tycoon,SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-General Kao Koong-lian said yesterday.

The foundation is Taiwan’s quasi-official organization in charge of dealing with affairs related to China.

Kao was referring to a Wednesday report by a local media that said Tseng Cheng-jen, Taichung-based Kuangsan Enterprise Group’s former president, was arrested in Shanghai in late August and will be repatriated to Taiwan soon.

Tseng, one of Taiwan’s most wanted economic criminals, who is also a former chairman of Taichung Business Bank, which is now named Taichung Commercial Bank, was sentenced to 11 years in jail in 2004 for committing financial irregularities, including an embezzlement scandal involving his bank, and illegal loans and stock trading.

Tseng fled to China that same year with his wife Chen Yen-chin avoiding his prison terms.

Kao said the SEF has contacted its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) , to confirm whether the arrest was true,after receiving related information from the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice Tuesday.

“The current information is chaotic, “ Kao said, adding that the SEF has only confirmed that Tseng’s niece Tseng Shih-Chen, who was involved in commercial frauds, has been arrested.

So far the ARATS has not confirmed whether Tseng Cheng-jen has been arrested, Kao said.

He expressed hope that China will follow normal procedures to repatriate Tseng to Taiwan if Tseng has indeed been arrested. But he added that this will depend on whether Tseng has committed crimes in China.

According to Hung Pai-ken, deputy chief prosecutor of the Taichung District Prosecutors Office, Tseng will have to begin his delayed prison terms once he is repatriated.

Chang Kuo-chung, the same office’s administrative assistant to the chief judge, said two suspended legal suits of Tseng will be resumed after he is sent back to Taiwan.