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CPC raided over alleged corruption

The China Post--The Agency Against Corruption (AAC) yesterday raided the state-run oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan (CPC) as part of an ongoing corruption probe over a suspicious relationship between the CPC and a private contractor on a US$400,000 bid six years ago.

The AAC dispatched officials to eight locations nationwide yesterday morning for raids, including the CPC headquarters in Taipei, the CPC's Talin refinery in southern Kaohsiung and the offices of several contractors.

The action was part of an investigation into the state-run oil firm's 2006 open bidding for an oil leak monitoring system totaling US$400,000, according to the AAC.

Four representatives of contractors concerning the 2006 bid and three CPC staff were questioned by the AAC officials over their alleged roles in the possible scandal, yesterday.

The AAC said it could summon CPC Chairman Chu Shao-hua (朱少華) for further investigation if evidence shows that Chu was personally involved in the alleged scandal.

Yesterday's probe came after opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) accused Chu of having a suspicious relationship with the private contractor that won the 2006 bid.

According to Lin, Chu and his wife went on a tour to Singapore with Tseng Jo-he (曾若荷), a Kaohsiung-based contractor, when Chu served as director of a CPC's Talin refinery in 2002.

With Chu's help, Tseng won the contract for the oil leak monitoring system in 2006, when Chu was CPC deputy general manager, Lin alleged.

 Tseng only spent US$150,000 procuring the system from a U.S. company, however, and made a large profit on the deal, Lin said.

Chu has previously denied the lawmaker's accusations, saying that he already left the post in Kaohsiung when Tseng won the bid for the project.

He also said he was not in charge of the oil leak monitoring system bid when Tseng won it in 2006 even though he was then a CPC deputy general manager.

This was the AAC's second probe into alleged corruption scandals within state-run companies in the past month.

The agency launched an investigation into the Taiwan Power Co. last month as part of a corruption probe concerning the Forth Nuclear Power Plant.

The action was part of an investigation into the firm's 2007 procurement of wires and equipment totaling US$15 million.

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