Fugitive Rebar chair may be repatriated

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Fugitive Rebar Group Chairman Wang You-theng (王又曾) may be repatriated to Taiwan to face embezzlement and money laundering charges after the U.S. immigration office denied him residency in the United States, according to local reports.

After requests from Taiwan’s judicial officials, the U.S. immigration office opened a court hearing in early November to investigate Wang’s case. According to the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice, more than a thousand indicted pages were translated into English; while several Taiwanese officials were dispatched to take part in the hearing.

Wang and his family business have allegedly been involved in various embezzlement scandals since 1999, taking part in illegal selling activities and unlawful lending between branch companies of The Chinese Bank, Chi Hsin Food and Synthetic Fiber Co., and China Rebar Company. Prosecutors alleged Wang embezzled several billion New Taiwan dollars. They have prosecuted more than a hundred people over the case.

Wang has denied the accusations of embezzlement, saying that he is a victim of a political conspiracy. Hard to Arrest

Reportedly, Wang fled the U.S. in 2006, but was denied entry after his R.O.C. passport was revoked. He is currently being held in the U.S. as a dependant of his wife Chin Shyh-ying (金世英) who owns a valid passport. Reports say that he is attempting to apply for a green card through his wife, although regulations require the applicant to have a clean criminal record.

Although Taiwan requested Wang’s extradition, difficulty has arisen as there is no standing extradition agreement with the U.S. because of Taiwan’s isolated diplomatic stance.

Taiwan has met further difficulties in arresting Wang due to its lack of extradition agreements with countries such as Singapore and mainland China, both of which Wang has attempted to flee to.

Recently, Taiwan has reached agreements with the U.S. immigration courts on passport safety and extradition issues, according to the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The investigation bureau has also come to terms with U.S. prosecutors to probe Wang’s case, persuading U.S. authorities to list Wang as a white-collar criminal. Wang May Have Third Citizenship Although U.S. immigration judges have the power to deport Wang, it may not ensure his return to Taiwan. Taiwanese officials explained that investigators would have the authority to return him to Taiwan only if U.S. judges rule that he should be repatriated. If, however, judges rule to deport him, Wang could end up in another county if he owns a third passport.

Before, Wang held passports from the R.O.C. and the Dominican Republic, both of which were revoked by Taiwan authorities after his attempts to flee the country.

Investigators are looking into the case to see if Wang managed to apply for citizenship to a third country during his stay in the U.S.