The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE, 日月光半導體) and five of its employees for discharging untreated industrial wastewater into the Houjin River (後勁溪).
Su Ping-shou (蘇炳碩), the manager of ASE’s K7 plant in Greater Kaohsiung, K7 wastewater department director Tsai Chi-hsun (蔡奇勳) and engineers Ho Teng-yang (何登陽), Liu Wi-cheng (劉威呈) and Yu Chih-hsien (游志賢) were accused of unlawfully disposing toxic material under the Criminal Code and the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法).
ASE was also charged under the Waste Disposal Act. If found guilty, the company could face a maximum fine of NT$3 million (US$100,000).
However, ASE chairman Jason Chang (張虔生), who was questioned by prosecutors, ASE executive vice president Lin Hsien-tang (林顯堂), who was released on NT$5 million bail after questioning, chief operating officer Tien Wu (吳田玉) and president Raymond Lo (羅瑞榮) were not indicted. The prosecutors’ office said evidence showed they were informed of the Oct. 1 incident only after it happened.
The K7 plant, which employs 5,000 people, is part of a complex of ASE factories in Greater Kaohsiung. It generates monthly revenues of about US$75 million, or more than 30 percent of ASE Kaohsiung’s total monthly sales, according to the ASE group.
Prosecutors believe the illegal discharges from the plant polluted the Houjin River near the Nanzih Industrial Zone.
Some production lines at the K7 plant have been idle since the Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau shut them down on Dec. 20 pending improvement of the facility’s waste disposal processes.
Additional reporting by CNA