Legal changes to facilitate return of US$550m: official

LAFAYETTE CASE:The government can pursue its claims against arms broker Andrew Wang, who died in the UK last year, a vice justice minister said

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 30, 2016
By: Staff writer, with CNA

The government is using a revision to the Criminal Code that is to take effect tomorrow to request a court ruling that is expected to expedite a decision by Swiss authorities to return US$550 million in a deceased arms broker’s frozen bank account to Taiwan.

Charges against broker Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), wanted for his role in the purchase of Lafayette frigates from France in the 1990s, were dropped after Taiwanese officials based in London confirmed his death in the UK last year. Wang, 86, died on Jan. 20.

He left US$550 million in a Swiss bank that was determined to be illegal commission paid to him for the frigate acquisition.

Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) on Tuesday said that the Swiss government and the bank would not release the funds to Taiwan until they received a Taiwanese court ruling confiscating the money.     [FULL STORY]

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