Conspirators used false reports to drive up share price of pharmaceutical firm and dupe investors
A Taiwanese man wanted by his country in connection with a major stock manipulation case that caused damages worth 23 billion baht has been arrested in Bangkok.
Tony Huang, 61, entered the country using a Vanuatu passport on Feb 5, 2021. He had a Thailand Privilege Card visa and was staying at a luxury condominium in the Pratunam area of Bangkok when he was arrested, the Immigration Bureau said on Friday.
The 61-year-old suspect, also known as Huang Wen-lieh, was indicted in Taiwan in 2020 on charges of securities fraud, stock manipulation and fraudulent financial reporting in connection with a listed pharmaceutical company, according to the Taipei Times.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand coordinated with Thai authorities to arrest Mr Huang, who had fled Taiwan before the indictment was handed down. He and his wife had been living mainly in Singapore where their children have Singaporean citizenship, the Taipei Times reported.
During questioning, Mr Huang admitted he had fled to Singapore and later obtained the Vanuatu passport before entering Thailand, said Pol Lt Gen Pakphumpipat Sajjaphan, the Immigration Bureau commissioner.
Seized from the condo where he was arrested were cash amounting to over one million baht, five mobile phones, a Singaporean ID card and some credit cards.
Mr Huang and others allegedly falsified accounts and financial statements to get Pharmally International Holding Co listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in March 2015, investigators in Taiwan said.
In 2018, Taiwanese authorities said, Mr Huang colluded with Pharmally executives to falsify documents about purchases of large amounts of the company’s shares from Sept 1 to Oct 20, 2018, driving the share price up by 66%.
Other investors rushed in to buy the suddenly hot stock, but the conspirators sold before the price collapsed. The other investors suffered estimated losses totalling NT$20 billion, equivalent to 23 billion baht.
When Mr Huang was indicted, Taiwanese police seized his assets worth the equivalent of 60 million baht and issued arrest warrants for 29 people, of whom 27 have been arrested, said the IB chief.
After being interrogated, the suspect was handed over to Immigration Division 3 for legal proceedings and extradition to Taiwan.
Immigration Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Pakphumpipat Sajjaphan (centre), senior officers and Taiwanese representatives attend a media briefing on Friday to announce the arrest of a major Taiwanese fraud suspect. (Photo: Police TV)