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June 29, 2017

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Prosecutors to track sources in other alleged cases of bribery

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Following the detentions of Farglory Group Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) and former Taoyuan County Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文), prosecutors yesterday said their next move will be tracing the sources of bribes to discover other potential corruption cases.

Taipei prosecutors said both Chao and Wei Chun-hsiung (魏春雄), a senior executive at Farglory, already confessed to giving a NT$16-million bribe to Yeh via Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠) to secure a public housing contract in Taoyuan. Tsai also admitted to assisting Farglory in giving the cash to Yeh, prosecutors added.

Tsai further told prosecutors that apart from the Taoyuan housing contract, in 2012 Chao had bribed Yeh, when the latter was the chief of the Interior Ministry's Construction and Planning Agency (CPA), to win the contract for another affordable housing project in Linkou of New Taipei City.

Prosecutors added that, as they discovered a total of about NT$18 million in cash in Yeh's residence and his county government office on May 30 and the sum of money does not match the amount he allegedly received from Chao, Tsai and Wei, therefore, prosecutors suspect that Yeh might be involved in other briberies.

After comparing the NT$18 million cash notes' registration numbers with Farglory's account books, prosecutors said they are currently tracking the alleged bribers attached to the other NT$2 million by questioning the banks that issued the notes.

The prosecutor said they recently froze an account of over NT$10 million belonging to Yeh's close female friend Chen Li-ling (陳麗玲) for investigation, noting that at the same time they are strategically probing Chao's vaults at the banks to see if there are any other suspicious financial activities between the two suspects.

The aforementioned four suspects are currently detained and held incommunicado on corruption charges pending formal indictment.

MOI Revokes Yeh's Award

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) yesterday said it has decided to revoke Yeh's "exemplary civil servant" award — which Yeh won while he was still serving at the CPA in 2013.

The MOI a few days ago told reporters that it will revoke Yeh's "exemplary civil servant" title if he is found guilty of corruption. The ministry explained yesterday that although the corruption investigation is still ongoing, given that Yeh's alleged involvement has caused controversy and severely tarnished the government's image the ministry has decided to withdraw Yeh's award and will ask him to return the trophy and repay the NT$50,000 cash prize.

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