Caveat emptor: Taiwan warns Duterte on dealing with fugitive Billionaire You Hao Chen
The Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), the de facto Taiwanese embassy in the Philippines, has alerted the Philippines to be vigilant about the notorious economic criminal You Hao Chen and urged to deport the fugitive businessman back to Taiwan immediately.
In a statement, TECO said it was acting on behalf of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
“The TECO, acting in good faith, wishes to state that Chen is an out-and-out economic criminal which has nothing to do with politics. The facts are that Chen was issued a circular order of arrest on 14 January, 2014 by Taiwan Taipei District Court during the Kuomintang (KMT) Administration to which Chen belonged as a KMT member. The order was not issued by the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Administration. This is the evidence that this case is not politically motivated. This case is purely an economic criminal case,” TECO said in a statement.
Taiwanese authorities were alarmed after the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) welcomed “the largest investment in the Philippines” to be made by the most wanted Taiwanese economic criminal You Hao Chen, the founder and the chief executive of Xianglu Dragon Group in China.
The proposed investment of Chen as announced by PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza includes a $360 billion development for a 3,000-hectare mixed-use special economic zone in Pangasinan and P12 billion to build an 85-story IT building along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
According to TECO, Chen is a notorious Taiwanese fugitive swindler. Chen was the former CEO of Tuntex Group in Taiwan. He was prosecuted by the Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutors Office on account of fraud, embezzlement and other serious economic crimes of defrauding more than NTD 800 million (equivalent to P1.32 billion). He has been officially indicted and wanted by the Taiwan Taipei District Court since January 14, 2014.
However, he subsequently escaped from Taiwan and fled to Xiamen, China. Chen and his Tuntex Group left nothing beneficial to the Taiwanese people but owed Taiwan government at least NTD 415 million (equivalent to (P684.75 million) tax arrears and defrauded the Taiwanese banks and investors of over NTD 70 billion (equivalent to P115.50 billion).
While in Xiamen, TECO said that Chen became the founder and the chief executive of Xianglu Dragon Group. His new Group invested RMB 3.88 billion for PX Chemical Zone in Fujian Province of China using his illegally obtained funds from Taiwan.
TECO added that Chen’s new group incurred a deficit of RMB 2 billion due to the poor management and a series of petrochemical industrial explosions in April 2015 causing serious pollution in the PX Chemical Zone.
With huge financial problem, TECO said that Chen is now looking for another suitable place/country to repeat his illegal business model and it seems that his new target place is the Philippines.
“Although Chen’s huge investment projects seem beneficial to the Filipino people and its economy at first, it actually will not only have negative impact on the Philippines’ good image and foreign direct investment (FDI), but will also put the whole country into a very high financial and legal risk and even adversely affect the reputation and credibility rating of this country,” it added.
Taiwanese and even the Chinese creditors especially the tax authorities, investors and banks may file also file lawsuits against Chen and his investments, including projects in the Philippines.
In addition, TECO has asked the Philippine legal enforcement agencies, especially the Bureau of Immigration to arrest Chen and deport him back to Taiwan to face prosecution.