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December, 9, 2016

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Top Legislature officials investigated

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Investigators descended on the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday morning, over claims of officials and departments' — including the legislative secretary-general — involvement in irregular procurement activities.

Thirty-three Legislative Yuan officials are allegedly involved, including Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Hsi-shan, and were under questioning as of press time, according to local media reports.

Reports say that the investigators leading the case are looking to impose charges of violating the Anti-Corruption Act on the 33 suspects. The Taipei District Prosecutors Office and agents of the Investigation Bureau led the search.

Prosecutors suspected that the Department of Information Technology has conducted illicit computer procurement activities over the past few years with an unnamed company by accepting bribes to allow a smooth bidding process.

Investigations are not being carried out on Deputy Secretary-General Wang Chuan-chung and the General Affairs Department, prosecutors clarified.

Searches have been conducted on Lin's office, the Information Technology Department and related offices.

The prosecutors office confirmed it had received a tip-off, claiming legislative officials had been involved in accepting kickbacks from a computer company for supply contracts, local media said.

The prosecutors office and Lin's office declined to comment on the search. Reporters revealed that a prosecutor at the scene confirmed the investigations were related to suspicions regarding computer equipment procurement irregularities.

Related searches were also carried out at locations in New Taipei, Hsinchu City and Changhua County, the prosecutors office stated.

Farnet Technologies was named by prosecutors as being suspected of providing kickbacks to Legislative Yuan officials, reports stated.

Wang was also at the scene to assist with investigations under Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's instructions.

Lin was absent during the searches. When asked about the case, Legislative Speaker Wang stated that he will "wait for the results" and was confident that he would not be implicated in the case.

"I'm 10,000 percent confident that (they) will not lead searches at my residence," Wang said.

Prior to the searches carried out at the Legislative Yuan, Taipei Prosecutors Office chief, Tsai Pi-yu, phoned Legislative Speaker Wang twice about the search beforehand.

Speaking to the media outside of his residence in Taipei City's Dazhi District, Wang denied knowledge of the investigation's subject matter.

Declined to Confirm Lin's Involvement

Investigators declined to comment whether Lin was involved in taking the kickbacks, though they confirmed that the tip-offs revealed the suspects involved carried out the illegal activities through a middleperson.

Millions of New Taiwan dollars were allegedly involved, agents stated. They also elaborated on the details, local media stated.

High-ranking investigation officials denied choosing a sensitive time period to lead "diligent searches."

It was definitely not an attempt at pandering to the future-ruling Democratic Progressive Party, officials told local media.

"Investigations will be carried out according to where the evidence leads us."

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