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Ex-Taoyuan deputy magistrate confesses to Linkou bribe: prosecutors

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) yesterday said that former Taoyuan Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) confessed to having received a bribe of NT$4 million for the A7 public housing project in Linkou of New Taipei City, noting that Yeh on Monday deposited NT$4 million to the TDPO's designated account.

Following Yeh's confession that he demanded a bribe of NT$26 million from Farglory Group Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) for an affordable housing development project in Taoyuan, Yeh on July 7 during a questioning session told Taipei prosecutors about his involvement in the Linkou housing project while he served as Construction and Planning Agency (CPA) director-general.

According to the prosecutors' investigation, Chao allegedly ordered Wei Chun-hsiung (魏春雄) — a senior Farglory executive — to give a bribe to Yeh via intermediary Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠) to secure the Taoyuan public housing contract.

On May 29 Tsai offered a piece of carry-on luggage loaded with NT$16 million in cash to Yeh at a Japanese restaurant in Taipei City and told the latter that a second installment of the bribe would be given to him on June 2, prosecutors quoted Yeh as saying, adding that Yeh was arrested the day after receiving the NT$16 million.

Apart from Tsai, the aforementioned three suspects are currently detained and held incommunicado pending formal indictment. Tsai, on the other hand, was recently released on a bail of NT$1 million after turning from suspect to state witness.

In order to have a chance to turn state witness, not only did Tsai confess to his involvement in the Taoyuan public housing project, he also claimed that Chao and Yeh were involved in another case of bribery for the Linkou affordable housing project, prosecutors said.

The Taipei prosecutors said Tsai's statement echoed the fact that a total of about NT$18 million in cash was discovered in Yeh's residence and his county government office on May 30, the sum of which does not match the amount he allegedly received from Chao for the Taoyuan housing project's first installment of bribe money.

A source in the TDPO said according to the Anti-corruption Act, if a suspect confesses his or her crimes and actively pays the ill-gotten gains during the process of investigation, then he or she may receive a less heavy punishment. The source added that the regulation may be applicable to Yeh's situation.

The TDPO said it will soon to decide whether or not to extend Yeh, Chao and Wei's detention.

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