Thu, Aug 30, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Former fire chief arrested for allegedly accepting large quantities of bribes

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Former National Fire Agency director-general Huang Chi-min speaks at a press conference in this undated file photo.

Photo: CNA

Former National Fire Agency director-general Huang Chi-min (黃季敏) was arrested yesterday by prosecutors in Taipei on suspicion of receiving bribes from contractors during his term in office.

Huang is currently a vice general manager at Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) and director of the group’s naphtha cracker in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township (麥寮).

More than 160 investigators raided Huang’s residence, his office at Formosa Plastics in Taipei and 39 other locations.

Huang was taken in for questioning, while 15 others, including incumbent agency officials and contractors, were summoned.

Investigators said they seized 18 gold bars in Huang’s residence and office. The bars weigh 17kg and are worth close to NT$23 million (US$770,000), they said.

Investigators said Huang, who served as director-general at the agency between 2003 and 2009, was in charge of a number of procurement projects during his term and is suspected of profiteering involving more than NT$100 million.

Those procurement projects included a wireless warning system, as well as communications and GPS networks, among others, investigators said.

Investigators said they also found Huang had recently wired NT$200 million to overseas accounts. Huang and his family members’ accounts were all targets in the investigation, they said.

They added that the investigation was launched after three years of surveillance.

Local newspapers reported yesterday that because Formosa Plastics Group’s naphtha cracker had caught fire on several occasions in recent years, the group had asked Huang to improve safety at the facility.

The agency said it was cooperating with the investigation.

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