SinoPac Holdings chairman detained on breach of trust charges

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN News Desk) - Ho Show-chung, chairman of SinoPac Holdings, detained for making illegal loans to finance real estate deal. 

Ho Show-chung, chairman of SinoPac Holdings, was detained Sunday on charges of breach of trust after prosecutors found he and other company executives were involved in illegal loans that reportedly amounted to NT$5 billion (US$164.6 million).

Also detained were Chang Chin-pang, manager of the SinoPac group's land development arm, and two others by the surname of Chang and Liao, while others were released on substantive amounts of bond.

The SinoPac scandal broke out after Legislator Huang Kuo-chang disclosed at the Legislature on April 26 that Ho's business group was suspected of having invested in a dummy company named Giant Crystal to gain control of a commercial building in Shanghai in 2009 and had SinoPac Leasing, one of the group's subsidiary firms, to make illegal loans to finance the deal.

This was a classic example of "investing in real estate with one's left hand and making illegal loans with the right hand," according to Huang.

Taipei District Prosecutors Office investigators launched a raid of Ho residence and office while also probing senior executives of the business group on June 16, requesting a court permit the following day to keep Ho and company under detention. The request was granted Sunday.

With the arrest of Ho, Chiu Cheng-hsiung, a member of the the holding company's board of directors, was named acting chairman. He said the company has a seven-decade history with total assets of NT$1.7 trillion and healthy finance.

Chen Chia-hsien another board member, is expected to be officially appointed as Ho's replacement June 23.

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