26 summoned on alleged insider trading of TTY Biopharm shares

10/15/2021 09:45 PM
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CNA file photo of TTY Biopharm Chairman Lin Chuan (林全).
CNA file photo of TTY Biopharm Chairman Lin Chuan (林全).

Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) Twenty-six people have been summoned by prosecutors for questioning as part of a probe into alleged insider trading of TTY Biopharm Co. Ltd shares, involving a failed deal to import COVID-19 vaccines from Germany last year, Shilin District Prosecutors Office said Friday.

Among them were TTY Biopharm General Manager Robbin Shih (施俊良) and 11 other employees of the company.

The summonses were issued after prosecutors visited 26 locations, including the pharmaceutical company's office in Taipei and residences in Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Kaohsiung and Pingtung.

The action was taken as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected financial irregularities at the company involving a failed deal to import COVID-19 vaccines from Germany last year.

The pharmaceutical company announced on Oct. 12, 2020 at a press conference it had received authorization for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Germany's BioNTech SE. Around 30 million vaccines were expected to be delivered to Taiwan, it said at the time.

However, on Nov. 3 last year, TTY Biopharm said it had halted further talks on the deal as it was unable to meet some of the terms listed in the authorization.

The prosecutors office said it launched an investigation into the company in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Act after receiving a report of alleged irregular transactions of TTY Biopharm shares in early November last year.

According to the report it received, some of TTY Biopharm's employees and their families and relatives allegedly engaged in insider trading by trading the company's shares prior to the announcements about it obtaining BioNTech SE's authorization and the collapse of the deal.

In that period there were large fluctuations in the company's share price, the office said.

In response, TTY Biopharm said Friday it will cooperate fully with the investigation and punish any employees found to have engaged in insider trading.

(By Hsiao Po-wen, Hang Ting-ting and Evelyn Kao)

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To date, 60.4 percent of Taiwan
To date, 60.4 percent of Taiwan's 23.43 million population have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 20.80 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to the CECC.
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