Detained county official pays back bribes
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-15 02:47 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Taoyuan County Vice Magistrate Ye Shi-wen handed over NT$4 million (US$133,000) in bribes he received on a construction project in Linkou, New Taipei City, to prosecutors, reports said Tuesday.

Ye was initially detained and immediately sacked as he was accused of accepting NT$16 million (US$532,000) from Farglory Group Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung in return for awarding his company the contract to build low-cost apartments in Pateh, Taoyuan County. He had reportedly asked for NT$26 million (US$866,000).

However, he later also admitted having received money for a similar deal on the Linkou apartment project known as A7.

Media reports said Tuesday that Ye’s attorney had wired the NT$4 million he received for that contract to an account held by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office on Monday.

Admitting to having accepted bribes and paying the money would help Ye obtaining a lighter punishment from the courts, reports said.

Ye, Chao and a close associate at Farglory, Wei Chun-hsiung, were still being held in detention. Tsai Jen-huei, a retired architecture professor who served as an intermediary between the tycoon and the official, was freed on bail July 9 after he accepted to serve as a witness for the prosecution.

Tsai reportedly picked up cash for bribes at a Farglory office in Taipei, stuffed it in a trunk and delivered it to Ye in person.

Last month, Chao, one of the nation’s highest-profile businessmen, tried several times to be freed on bail, but his appeals against his detention were repeatedly defeated. He claimed he had told prosecutors everything he knew about the Pateh case, but they claimed he could still collude with other suspects or escape overseas.

After the Pateh scandal broke, Taoyuan County Magistrate John Wu immediately sacked Ye, who was also expelled from the ruling Kuomintang. Because Ye served in an important position at the Ministry of Interior before he joined the Taoyuan County Government last year, suspicions arose that he might have had a hand in illegal practices surrounding other construction deals. Ye also played a key role in promoting the county’s Aerotropolis project and the “Giant Egg” sports stadium in Taipei, though no corruption allegations have been leveled in those cases yet.

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