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September 20, 2017

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Farglory chairman released on bail

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Farglory Group Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) was released on NT$5 million bail, while former Taoyuan Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) is being held incommunicado over an alleged bribery case involving a housing project, Taipei District Court announced yesterday.

Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) on Friday night filed for the detention of Yeh, Chao and two others also suspected of being involved in the case. The court ruled that Chao could be released on bail but is restricted from leaving the country.

Prosecutors said there is a possibility that Chao might collude with other suspects over their testimonies, so an interlocutory appeal against the district court's decision to release the Farglory Group chairman on bail was immediately filed with the Taiwan High Court.

The TDPO said that both Chao and Yeh denied being involved in illegal activities during questioning.

However, the TDPO said that Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠), a retired National Taipei University of Technology professor who stands accused of acting as an intermediary, admitted to handing a bribe of NT$18 million from Chao to Yeh so that Farglory Group would win a commission to build an affordable housing project in Taoyuan County.

Tsai is also being held incommunicado, according to the Taipei District Court.

According to the TDPO, Chao claimed that Farglory Group's bidding for the affordable housing project was completely legal; however, the chairman also told prosecutors that he knows nothing about the NT$18 million and he is not in charge of every aspect of his firm's operations.

Based on the TDPO's investigation, even though Chao denied the allegation, the statements given by Tsai and several Farglory Group employees suggest that the corruption accusations are accurate.

The TDPO said that according to a wiretap transcript, Chao told one of his employees that "these sorts of things are best solved with money," indicating that Farglory Group may have bribed civil servants through high-level executives over an extensive period of time in order to win deals.

The Taoyuan County Government announced on Friday that Yeh had been dismissed from his position as deputy magistrate, effective immediately, over his suspected involvement in the case.

Farglory Group yesterday issued a statement to its clients, saying that the company's bidding for the affordable housing project in Taoyuan County was completely legal and that the company's operations and financial affairs will not be affected.

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