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Controversial Taiwanese group officials detained in Ponzi scheme probe

2018/05/11 23:00:03

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Three key officials of the Taiwan Civil Government (TCG), a group that advocates for Taiwan's self-determination, has been accused of running a Ponzi scheme and were detained on Friday by the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office after they were deemed a flight risk in an ongoing investigation into the organization.

The controversial group, which believes that Taiwan has been under military occupation since the end of World War II, has been recruiting members by claiming that it alone is authorized by the United States military government to issue personal identification cards, licenses and other passes.

It claims the U.S. military government actually controls the country, and had simply put former Taiwanese President Chiang Kai-shek in charge as its agent. The group argues that the late Chiang illegally stripped all Taiwanese of Japanese citizenship in 1946 and its stated ultimate goal is that Taiwanese people should return to Japanese citizenship, with allegiance to their former colonizer Japan.

Under this premise, the TCG has been able to recruit around 36,000 members and collect at least NT$300 million (US$10 million) in what prosecutors say amounts to a Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent operation in which new members are recruited to pay fees that generate returns for the founders or older members.

According to the district prosecutors office, 110 of the members have reported the organization for alleged fraud, prompting prosecutors on Thursday to question the group's founder and secretary-general Roger Lin (林志昇), his wife Julian T.A. Lin (林梓安), and five other high-ranking officials in the group.

Following questioning, prosecutors determined Lin, his wife and one of the officials Yu Hsiang-ching (游象敬) may want to flee Taiwan, destroy evidence or change their stories, so they applied for a detention order from the court.

Lin, his wife, and Yu have since been detained pending further investigation.

(By Wu Jui-chi and Kuan-lin Liu)