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July 27, 2017

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Lin Yi-shih's wife released on NT$1 mil. bail

Former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih's (林益世) wife, Peng Ai-chia (彭愛佳), was listed as a defendant and released on NT$1 million bail after being summoned a third time as a witness yesterday.

After an 11-hour interrogation, prosecutors pressed charges against her for money laundering, corruption and hiding bribe money. Prosecutors said that she could face up to seven years in prison.

Peng was also asked by her employers, China Television Company (中視), to resign as news anchor.

Reporters swarmed Peng after she was released by investigators. She did not take any questions, repeatedly saying, "Be careful" and "Thanks for your concern" while wading through members of the press.

Hiding Bribery Money in the Pond

Prosecutors said Peng had allegedly contacted Lin's mother, Shen Jo-lan (沈若蘭), to hand over the bribe money in exchange for Lin. After Shen presented the Special Investigation Division (SID) with a luggage case stuffed with NT$18 million, prosecutors pressed charges against her for hiding and concealing the money. She was later released her on NT$2 million bail. The money appeared to have been soaked in water. When asked why the cash was wet, Shen said she had hid the bundle of cash in a pond.

Further investigations showed that Lin's mother used her daughter-in-law's name to register a safety deposit box to place the illegal gains, prosecutors said. Her voice was allegedly heard in a recorded meeting between Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥), owner of Ti Young Co., and her son, driving investigators to suspect her involvement in the scheme.

Further Investigations to Uncover More Evidence

Investigators also searched Lin's office in Kaohsiung a second time as well as his home in the afternoon. According to local media reports, the team left with one box of evidence after one hour, while speculators watched in wonderment.

The SID is also preparing to question Lin's father, Lin Hsien-pao (林仙保). The SID said because Lin's father Lin Hsien-pao was a former member of the provincial assembly, and because most of the business deals took place in his house, it was essential to question him.

Lin Probably Involved in More Bribery: SID

When Lin's mother voluntarily submitted NT$18 million on Wednesday in an attempt to mitigate the charges against her son, suspicions were aroused. According to Chen Chi-hsiang, he gave Lin a total of US$1.93 million to secure a slag treatment deal. Although Lin's mother claimed that the NT$18 million was from Chen, prosecutors stated that there wasn't enough evidence to support her claim.

SID officials said that it would've been illogical for Lin to convert the U.S. dollars back into New Taiwan dollars, because the conversion would have led to exchange-rate losses and an incriminating paper trail. Prosecutors said they could not find any records of cash conversions in Lin's bank papers, and suspected that Lin could have received more bribes from other sources.

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