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Ex-Changhua magistrate's home searched in corruption investigation

2015/04/16 22:40:27

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) Changhua prosecutors on Thursday searched several properties as part of an investigation into charges of corruption against former county magistrate Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) while in office and questioned his wife, Lin Jung-jung(林蓉蓉).

The Changhua District Prosecutors' Office (彰化地檢署) searched Cho's old residence in Tienchung, Changhua; a mansion in Nantun, Taichung City; a frozen foods factory under the name of Cho's father, the home of Cho's sister in Taichung, and Lin's office in Taichung.

After the searches, Lin, a prosecutor of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office's Taichung branch, was reportedly summoned by the Changhua prosecutors for questioning, but they refused to reveal any details about the investigation. Meanwhile, Cho's mother and younger sisters also declined to comment on the matter when asked by the media.

The investigation was launched after relatives of Lin were discovered to have received NT$50 million (US$1.61 million) in their bank accounts in Japan from an unidentified foreign source, with an Apple Daily report published last month claiming that this was a payoff for an illegal land seizure devised to secure gains for a supermarket magnate when Cho was Changhua magistrate.

It was also discovered that the mansion in Taichung was under the name of one of Lin's relatives, but they cannot explain where the money came from. After being questioned by prosecutors on allegations of money laundering, Lin's relatives have been released on a NT$2 million bail.

However, at a press conference called later last month, Cho denied involvement in the illegal land seizure scheme , saying that the project was initiated before he even took office.

(By Wu Jhe-hao, Sophia Chen and Evelyn Kao)