TAIPEI, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Taiwan prosecutors said on Wednesday they have detained the ex-chairman of Mega Financial Holding and a key former executive of the company, following a government probe into the state-run group’s violation of U.S. banking regulations.
Prosecutors have taken former Mega chairman McKinney Tsai and former chief secretary Wang Chi-pang into custody as suspects of serious crimes, in part because they could pose “a risk of flight and destroying evidence” related to violations at the bank’s New York branch, said Chang Chieh-chin, deputy chief prosecutor of the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.
Tsai and Wang could be detained for up to two months, Chang said. Tsai stepped down as chairman in March.
Current finance minister Sheu Yu-jer and ex-finance minister Chang Sheng-ford will also be investigated by Taiwan’s Control Yuan, an investigatory agency that monitors government, the cabinet said in a statement late on Monday.
The government ordered a probe this week to find out whether the finance minister and other officials were responsible for inadequate oversight in a case that led to a $180 million fine to the bank’s New York branch by U.S. authorities. The fine related to violations of rules including lax attention to risk exposure in Panama.
The agency is investigating whether there was “insufficient oversight” in a case that Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has said damaged the island’s reputation and created public mistrust about supervision of the financial sector. (Reporting by Faith Hung and Jeanny Kao; Editing by Sam Holmes)