The Nantou District Court yesterday detained Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hou Ho-shong (
Hou, 63, who was arrested on Tuesday, was questioned overnight after his office and home were searched by agents from the Bureau of Investigation.
He is suspected to have played a role in seven flood-control construction corruption cases.
The Nantou District Court yesterday approved the detention to enable further investigation.
"Hou is charged with influence peddling, which is a serious crime. The court decided to allow extended detention to avoid collaboration among suspects [involved in the same case]," prosecutor Wu Tso-yen (吳祚延) said.
A contractor was also detained after initial questioning while three others, including two government officials and a contractor, were released on bail, he said.
Following Hou's detention, Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (
Ministry affairs under Hou's supervision will be temporarily distributed to two other vice economic ministers, Shih Yen-hsiang (
Meanwhile, the duties of Taiwan Water Corp vice president Yang Shui-yuan (
Yang and Chang are also suspected of involvement in the bid-rigging on the construction projects.
A series of high-profile corruption scandals have rocked the country recently.
President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) wife, Wu Shu-jen (
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential hopeful Ma Ying-jeou (
Additional reporting by Jessie Ho