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Taiwan indicts 12 railway officials and 7 businessmen in bribery case
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-02-27 05:20 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors indicted 12 officials of the Taiwan Railway Administration and seven business people in a case involving bribes and sexual favors, reports said Wednesday.

The list included two former deputy directors-general of the state railway company, Huang Min-jen and Chung Chao-hsiung.

A contractor bidding for the TRA’s Around the Nation Safety Enhancement Project reportedly influenced Chung’s decision on his offer by providing bribes, free meals and prostitutes, reports said.

The irregular contracts also involved the reconstruction of a bridge over the Taimali River in Taitung County, special elevators at Dajia station in Taichung, and the renovation of Houzhuang station in Pingtung County, according to the Taichung Prosecutors Office, which charged the suspects Wednesday.

Six people, including Chung, have been detained since last October when the scandal broke, reports said. The Taichung District Court was expected to decide what would happen to them after the charges were announced.

The prosecutors requested severe sentences for Huang and Chung because the two officials completely disregarded the travelers’ safety and the public interest while illegally favoring a certain group of business people.

As a result of the scandal, TRA Director-General Frank Fan received two demerits last November for failing to supervise his department, allowing two deputies to become involved in separate scandals. As Chung was detained for the safety enhancement project, Huang was released on bail of NT$1 million (US$33,700) for the Taimali bridge plan.

At the time, the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications promised a full investigation into corruption allegations against the railway company, while the opposition demanded Fan’s resignation and called for tougher performance evaluations of officials involved in unfair bids, delays and budget overruns.

The ten other TRA officials indicted Wednesday include managers of regional rail areas and of engineering and construction departments.

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