TransAsia executives questioned amid insider trading allegations

The chairman of TransAsia Airways and two other senior executives were questioned by prosecutors early Tuesday over possible insider trading in the company's shares just hours after the airline suddenly announced a suspension of services.

TransAsia Chairman Vincent Lin (???), Chief Executive Officer Liu Tung-ming (???) and Chief Financial Officer Yang Hsuan-yi (???) were summoned to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office for questioning in the early hours of Tuesday, according to law enforcement sources.

The session lasted for about three hours. The trio made no comments to waiting reporters when they walked out of the prosecutors' office at about 4 a.m.

The three were questioned after Shih Jun-ji, chairman of Taiwan Stock Exchange, said that there were "clear signs of insider trading" involving the company's shares.

People working for TransAsia Airways were found selling shares they own in the company during Monday's trading session as rumors of the airline would soon suspend operations were swirling around, according to Shih.

At one point during the trading session on Monday, TransAsia denied the rumors and claimed there was a glitch in its booking system, making it impossible for passengers to buy tickets after November.

The company later announced that it had canceled all flights scheduled for Tuesday, affecting more than 5,000 passengers who have already purchased a ticket.

There is no knowing whether operations will resume after Tuesday. A special board meeting on Tuesday morning will likely shed light on the future of the airline, which serves mainly domestic destinations and some others in China and in Northeast and Southeast Asia.

Founded in 1951, TransAsia is Taiwan's third largest airline company. It was hit by two major crashes in 2014 and 2015 that caused 91 deaths.

It reportedly lost NT$2.22 billion (US$69.3 million) in the first three quarters of this year.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel