Taipei City official and councilor questioned about Twin Towers: Reports
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-03-27 03:58 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors questioned Taipei City Department of Finance Commissioner Chiou Dah-jan and Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ru in an investigation into possible irregularities in the Twin Towers project, reports said Wednesday.

A Malaysian-dominated group which won the bid for the NT$80 billion (US$2.6 billion) development project near the Taipei Railway Station failed to deposit a performance bond of NT$1.89 billion (US$63.6 million) by the February 21 deadline, causing major embarrassment to the Taipei City Government amid allegations of illegal activities.

The Taipei Prosecutors Office led raids on more than 20 locations in Taipei Wednesday morning, including the offices of the finance chief and of the councilor, according to media reports. Lai is a prominent member of the ruling Kuomintang and often acts as an attorney in court cases involving party leaders.

Prosecutors suspected she had received bribes from a bidder for the project, while Chiou could have leaked details about the tender, reports said. He reportedly met with representatives of a Japanese business group during a government trip to Japan last September, just three days before the city issued a tender for the project, reports said. Chiou denied his trip bore any relation to the Twin Towers.

The homes and offices of several company managers were also searched, while investigators requested to see documents at the Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems, reports said. An unspecified number of individuals were reportedly taken in for questioning about allegations of corruption and other illegal practices surrounding the project.

Last year, a city councilor alleged that organized crime was involved in the bidding for the Twin Towers, which are expected to dominate the skyline west of the Taipei Railway Station. The buildings, 76 floors and 56 floors high respectively, are expected to become the focus of a new transportation hub in central Taipei linking railway, high speed rail, subway and bus lines with the new mass rapid transit line to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The recent problems could have an impact on the Twin Towers’ expected completion date in 2018, reports said.

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