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Yeh Shih-wen admits to demanding NT$26M in bribes
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-11 05:12 PM
Former Taoyuan County Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen began opening up Wednesday morning after two days of questioning from investigators from the Taipei Prosecutors Office digging into the case against him. Yeh admitted for the first time that he had taken money from Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung of Farglory Group, saying he had agreed on a payment of NT$26 million to facilitate the group’s bid for a housing project in Ba-de Township of Taoyuan County. Chao and Yeh and two others were taken into custody by agents of the Agency against Corruption as Chao transferred partial payment of NT$16 million to Yeh.

Yeh reportedly testified that he had instructed Chao to provide NT$26 million as a fee for helping Farglory to win the bid for the Ba-de Affordable Housing project. Chao had arranged for payment through a "white glove" bagman or intermediary, former Taipei University of Technology professor Tsai Jen-hui, on May 29. Before the payment could be delivered, however, government agents moved in and the funds were seized.

Investigators "following the money trail" in the case had determined that Yeh had purchased a luxury apartment in Xinzhuang District of New Taipei City under the name of Chen Li-ling, a former co-worker as well as a residence in Xizhi under his son’s name. They suspected the funds behind the purchases were related to corruption in government bids for construction projects.

Yeh had claimed, however, that he had obtained the Xinzhuang property at a discount from a construction company and that his two sons had purchased the Xizhi residence by taking out a loan on a house in Nantou for the down payment. He said he had not gotten any special privileges from the builders.

Prosecutors interviewed officials of the construction companies involved over the course of two days, checking out the cash flow in each transaction. Although they were unable to come up with direct evidence of illegal dealings, they were still doubtful of Yeh’s tales of discounts and loans.

Yeh was reportedly forced to eventually admit to bribery after being informed that agents had seized the funds being transferred by Chao.

Investigators are continuing with their probe into the case to determine whether there have been any other improper dealings with construction companies or projects involving Yeh.

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