Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) The Chiayi District Prosecutors Office will launch a criminal investigation into the alleged laundering of NT$3 million (US$95,500) by Chen Cheng-ting (陳政廷), son of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文).
The case began to unfold on Tuesday when Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. returned to the lawmaker an unlocked briefcase stashed with cash worth NT$3 million, which it found on the train.
The cash, according to the DPP Legislator, was meant for his son to set up a bubble tea shop in the Philippines.
Media reports have since raised questions about the origins of the money, and whether it was a political donation.
The Political Donations Act stipulates that political parties or political associations are not allowed to receive more than NT$300,000 from individuals; no more than NT$2 million from civil associations, and less than NT$3 million from profit-seeking businesses.
In addition, under the Money Laundering Control Act, financial institutions are required to report to relevant authorities each cash transaction or withdrawal by their clients that exceeds NT$500,000.
Media personality Huang Yueh-hung (黃越宏) on Wednesday filed a complaint against Chen Cheng-ting at Taipei District Prosecutors' Office, accusing him of money laundering.
However, the district prosecutors office in Chen's home region of Chiayi will be the unit leading the investigation into the origin of the cash as it has already applied to probe the case, according to Taiwan High Prosecutors Office.
Accompanied by his lawyer Chen Tse-chia (陳澤嘉), the DPP legislator rebuffed allegations surrounding the money at a press conference on Thursday, saying there were clear transaction records and he will present them to prosecutors.
The lawmaker threatened to file a lawsuit against those who accused him or his son of money laundering or receiving political donations.
According to Chen Tse-chia, the cash was withdrawn by the lawmaker's family in small amounts from the bank.
However, neither the lawmaker nor his son's lawyer have offered information regarding whose bank account they withdrew the money from and the origin of the money.
Taiwan's next presidential and legislative elections will be held concurrently on Jan. 11, 2020 and Chen Ming-wen is running for reelection.