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May 30, 2017

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Taipei environmental officials indicted over allegations of bribery

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection (環保局) officials Chen Yu-ta (陳裕達) and Liu Shao-fu (劉少甫) yesterday were indicted by Taipei prosecutors over allegations of bribery.

According to Taipei prosecutors, Chen and Liu both worked in the sanitation division of the department, and allegedly received NT$600,000 and NT$20,000 respectively from two cleaning companies.

A cleaning company owner, Su Hou-kuan (蘇厚寬), and a staff member from another cleaning company, Chiang Yen-chang (江燕璋), were also indicted over their alleged involvement in the bribery.

Earlier this year, the Agency Against Corruption (廉政署) under the Ministry of Justice received a report from a local citizen about the alleged bribery involving Chen and the cleaning companies.

Evidence collected by the agency was provided to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office in February for further investigation.

Chen, Liu, Su and Chiang were questioned, detained and held in incommunicado by Taipei prosecutors on Feb. 21. The case has now been transferred to the jurisdiction of the Taipei District Court, according to prosecutors.

Chen worked on the Ditch Cleaning Team, with the primary duty of inspecting the cleanliness of construction sites' ditches in southern Taipei City, prosecutors said, adding that if a ditch was blocked by contaminated water produced by the construction work, Chen would issue a ticket to the company.

Chen allegedly told the companies to hire a cleaning firm designated by him to clean the ditches on a monthly basis, prosecutors said.

Audio Recordings of Bribery Activities

Taipei prosecutors said based on audio recordings between Chen and Su, Chen allegedly told Su to give him money during the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays. Su allegedly gave NT$20,000 to Chen in November 2011 and started to pay him on a monthly basis in December 2011.

Chen allegedly received NT$600,000 in total, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said in June 2012 that Liu allegedly told Chiang he would issue a ticket to Chiang's firm, as it did not comply with relevant environmental regulations regarding the disposal of construction site waste.

Prosecutors said Chiang allegedly contacted Su and asked him to help by giving Liu NT$20,000 the next day to avoid his firm being issued a ticket.

Chen was suspended by Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection after he was detained and held incommunicado.

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