Sat, Sep 08, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan Water chairman Hsu, four others arrested

IN THE MONEY Hsu Hsiang-kun is suspected of taking kickbacks, with gold jewelry, NT$1.5 million in cash and US$60,000 found during a raid on his office


Taiwan Water Co chairman Hsu Hsiang-kun (徐享崑) and four others were arrested yesterday afternoon on suspicion of corruption.

Kaohsiung District Court ordered their detention following a request by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office.

Hsu is suspected of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from contractors of major construction projects over the past two years via his special adviser Chen Tzu-kuo (陳茲國) and You Yii-der (游以德), an associate professor in the Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering at National Taiwan University, who serves as the chairman of a local environmental protection foundation, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said they started investigating the case after receiving tip offs last year.

They said they had discovered Hsu asked for kickbacks from bidders with the help of Chen and You. He also forced subordinates at the company to collude with him, the prosecutors said.

Chen and You, the company's chief engineer Lin Lien-mao (林連茂) and contractor Yang Chung-te (楊崇德) are all in detention.

The court denied the prosecutors' request to detain the environmental protection foundation's secretary Sun Ling-ling (孫玲玲) and accountant Kuo Hsiu-mei (郭秀美).

According to prosecutors, when contractors bid for a construction project, Hsu often charged them an additional "registration fee," of about 10 to 20 percent of the total budget for each construction project. Prosecutors said that Hsu and his associates had made more than NT$10 million (US$300,000) in this way.

When they searched Hsu's office early on Thursday, they found NT$1.5 million in cash, as well as US$60,000 and gold jewelry.

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said yesterday that Hsu would be suspended from both the chairmanship and his post as a Cabinet adviser, in keeping with the provisions of the Civil Servant Services Act (公務員服務法).

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