Prosecutors on Monday summoned former Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford to answer questions in connection with alleged anti-money laundering violations involving Mega International Commercial Bank.
Chang, who was finance minister when the alleged violations occurred, was called in as a witness, prosecutors said.
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office started an investigation of Mega Bank after its New York branch was fined US$180 million by New York State's Department of Financial Services (DFS) for violating the state's anti-money laundering laws.
In announcing the penalty on Aug. 19, the DFS said its examiners "discovered numerous deficiencies in Mega-New York's compliance function," including a lack of understanding of anti-money laundering laws and conflicts of interests among the bank's compliance officers.
The "serious" compliance failures were "all the more concerning," the DFS said, because of "a number of suspicious transactions" it had identified between Mega Bank's New York and Panama branches.
The questionable transactions took place in 2013 and 2014 and were uncovered by the DFS during an examination conducted between January and March 2015.
The DFS said it also discovered that "a substantial number" of the bank's customer entities were formed with the assistance of the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama, one of the law firms at the center of the formation of shell company activity.
Also Monday, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Ding Kung-wha said the results of an administrative investigation currently being conducted by the FSC are expected to be released in late September.
Over the past three days, the FSC has questioned 27 individuals related to the case, including former Mega Financial Holding Co. Chairman McKinney Tsai (???) and incumbent company president Wu Hann-ching (???), Ding said.
Also, examiners dispatched by the FSC began an examination of Mega Bank's Panama branch on Monday and are expected to complete the work by Sept. 15, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan