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Tue, Jan 11, 2000 - Page 4 News List

Three arrested in Taichung for bid rigging in post-quake reconstruction

STAFF WRITER

Three people have been arrested in connection with alleged bid-rigging for a NT$140 million quake reconstruction project in Taichung County, a prosecutor said.

The Mount Tahsueh (大雪山林道) highway -- which was damaged by landslides during the 921 quake -- is a construction project under the control of the Forestry Bureau, Taichung County.

There have been rumors that criminal gangs were working with bidders for the construction contract, which was opened to tender yesterday.

Police and prosecutors in Tai-chung County have been monitoring the project and say they have collected evidence and arrested three bidders as part of an investigation.

According to prosecutor Chang Tou-hui (張斗輝), judicial officials have been on their guard since the 921 quake for possible gang involvement in various reconstruction projects slated for the area.

The earthquake caused land-slides from Mount Tahsueh and the badly damaged the highway. The reconstruction project was listed as a priority for the area.

Police had received reports that gangs were meddling in the construction bid and yesterday more than a hundred people were deployed when the bid was put out to tender.

The police say they intend to broaden the scope of their investigations into public reconstruction projects in the area.

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