Taoyuan County deputy commissioner Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) was sacked from his job yesterday over allegations of bribery involving Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄), as prosecutors questioned 17 people, including the pair.
After Yeh was brought to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning at noon, the Taoyuan County Government announced at 3:30pm that County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) had decided to remove Yeh from office.
As of press time, both Yeh and Chao were being questioned.
Prosecutors reportedly seized NT$10 million (US$332,000) in cash during a raid of Yeh’s residence and office, allegedly from Farglory Land Development in connection with a bid for the government’s affordable housing project.
Prosecutors said they recently received a tip that Yeh rigged the bidding process to help the construction company secure the affordable housing project in Bade City (八德).
The contract was part of the Executive Yuan’s policy to help first-time homebuyers and poor people buy an apartment at a reasonable price.
Farglory Land Development allegedly had Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠), a professor of architecture at National Taipei University of Technology, act as its “white gloves” to facilitate the bribes, whereby the money was given to Yeh from a third party, and not directly from the company, according to a United Daily Evening News report.
More than 100 officers at the Ministry of Justice’s Agency Against Corruption and prosecutors raided 20 firms and offices of the related parties in connection with the case in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan County at about 7am, prosecutors said.
The raids continued until 4:30pm.
Based on what was found during the raids, pending further investigation into the seized cash and other people involved, prosecutors said Yeh could face felony bribery charges under the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例).
Prosecutors declined to comment on Chao’s involvement in the case.
The 66-year-old Yeh was invited by Wu to be his deputy in July last year after Yeh retired from public service.
Prior to his retirement, he was director-general of the Construction and Planning Agency at the Ministry of the Interior.
Wu had said he wished to draw on Yeh’s experience to assist the government in carrying out the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project, urban planning and affordable housing projects.