Taipei warns Manila vs dealing with 'economic criminal'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2017 04:26 PM

MANILA - Taiwan on Wednesday reiterated its warning to the Philippines against doing business with a fugitive Taiwanese businessman, whom it described as an "economic criminal."

Xianglu Dragon Group's You Hao Chen fled Taiwan with 415 Taiwan dollars (P702 million) in tax arrears and 70 billion Taiwan dollars (P118.4 billion) in money allegedly defrauded from banks and investors, Taipei's de facto embassy in Manila said in a statement.

The Philippines appeared to be the "new target place" for Chen to repeat what he did in Taiwan, according to the statement.

Chen is planning to build an economic zone in Pangasinan province and what would be the Philippines' tallest building along Roxas Boulevard.

Filipino authorities initially shrugged off warnings from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office and a separate request to deport him to Taiwan saying Chen now holds a Chinese passport.

The Philippines does not officially recognize Taiwan as a country separate from China.

As an "economic criminal" with arrest warrants, Chen fled to Xiamen where he invested 3.88 billion yuan (P30 billion) in a chemicals business. The venture is mired in a "cash flow gap," according to the TECO statement.

The TECO said the Philippines risked harming its international reputation if it allows Chen to invest in the country.

The Taiwan office in Manila also rejected a Filipino official's claim that the charges against Chen were politically-motivated. It said Chen was charged under the previous Kuomintang government.

"This is the evidence that this case is not politically motivated. This case is purely an economic criminal case," it said.