Friday, July 06, 2012

Linners in the hands of an angry mob

The Lin Yi-shih bribery case took some new, more hilarious turns the last couple of days whilst I've been offline writing a paper and eating great Chinese food at Nong Lai Restaurant, good value for the money spent. It's somehow appropriate that Matsu is holding the casino referendum tomorrow, with all the money sloshing around in the Lin Yi-shih case...

The media has gone into a mob frenzy with this case. The TV shows are filled with images of Lin and his wife Peng Ai-chia. Yesterday Lin's mother showed up with a mint's worth of banknotes, which, instead of helping ameliorate her son's problems, appear to have made them worse. The KMT news organ has the call:
The corruption case involving former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世) continues unabated. The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) subpoenaed Lin's wife Peng Ai-chia (彭愛佳) on July 5 for the third time. After the SIU opened the sealed containers that had been seized and verified the huge sums of cash, Peng was suspected of being guilty on 3 counts, namely concealing illicit gains from a corruption case, in violation of the Anti-Corruption Statute, hiding others' illicit gains from major criminal acts, in violation of the Money-laundering Prevention Act, and covering up criminal evidence, in violation of the Criminal Code, which are the same charges brought against Lin's mother, Shen Jo-lan (沈若蘭). Peng was thus listed as a defendant in the corruption case, but was also released last night on NT$1 million bail following the inquiry session.

Currently the SIU had seized bribe money exceeding NT$ 68 million, including US$ 1 million and nearly NT$ 10 million in banknotes from Peng's safety deposit box(es) at an undisclosed bank, the NT$18 million in banknotes that Lin's mother handed over to the SIU, and about NT$ 10 million that Peng helped the SIU to locate after she was subpoenaed by the SIU yesterday. However, the equivalent of NT$ 68 million exceeded the NT$ 63 million that Lin admitted to having accepted as bribes in the corruption case. Lin's mother could not explain whether the $18 million in NT dollars came from the US dollars Lin admitted to having accepted from Chen. Moreover, Lin's mother reportedly burned a large quantity of US banknotes. Therefore, the SIU suspected that Lin might have accepted bribes in other corruption cases.
The Taipei Times and other news organs (Apple) reported some other interesting tidbits. Apparently Peng Ai-chia had cleaned out the safety deposit box with a ton of cash, and that box  was in someone else's name (Apple Daily says five boxes all in different names, all flush with cash). Lin's mother had an interesting time of it. Hearing that the police were coming to search her house, she went to Lin's dollar stash and burnt a portion, flushed another portion down the toilet, and wrapped another in plastic and tossed it in the family pond. She switched from burning to stashing in the pond because she didn't want to stand there all day burning stuff and attracting the attention of neighbors. You guessed it, the pond and the ghost money burner where she burnt the real money somehow weren't searched, according to media reports. She rescued the money from the pond but soaked it when she tore the plastic bringing it up. The joke on her is that the money she flushed down the toilet went directly to the.... septic tank. Where the police can retrieve it easily. And think of the metaphor possibilities of black money found in a septic tank... mom was eventually released on $2 million bail.

Thing is, the businessman paid the bribe to Lin in US dollars, according to the police. But the big stash of cash exceeded the bribe that Lin had been given, and much of it was in NT dollars. The police naturally concluded that Lin had received other bribes, which they are now probing. Stay tuned, the fun is only beginning.

Meanwhile Ma's popularity plummeted to 15% according to the pro-KMT TVBS.Too bad the businessman couldn't have complained about Lin before the election......

A couple of other observations. Other names will sooner or later threaten to become public. Will Lin become the scapegoat for the system, or will the investigators dig to find out who he was paying off, if anyone? Further, KMT attack dog Chiu Yi was claiming that Lin accepted the bribes only because DPPers in Kaohsiung hand promised to deliver same access-for-bribery deal. One has to wonder whether the probe can be redirected in DPP directions.

Another interesting facet of this case is the appearance of the Lady MacBeth factor, the powerful woman behind the corrupt man who is the real mover of events. Readers will recall that Chen Shui-bian's wife was often named in media reports and commentaries as the real factor behind Chen's acceptance of big dollars. The evil woman who drives her weak and helpless man to do terrible things also cropped up in this case, as some media commentary is claiming that Lin's mother compelled him to enter politics, the poor lad, and presumably, to do bad things....
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Tim Maddog said...

Michael, you wrote (regarding the claims of Chiu "Boy Who Cried Wolf" Yi):
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One has to wonder whether the probe can be redirected in DPP directions.
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Why waste any mental effort pondering that guy's ramblings? I wouldn't be surprised if it were Chiu himself who ends up being implicated.

Tim Maddog

Amy H said...

A link on Taiwan from the political science blogosphere: