Sun, Jan 02, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Property bureau officials sentenced for corruption

AN OLD SWITCHEROO:Officials of the National Property Bureau used proxies to rent at a site to gain priority to buy the land, which they then sold to development firms

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Taipei District Court handed down sentences on Friday to 15 former and incumbent officials at the Ministry of Finance’s National Property Bureau (NPB) who were convicted on corruption charges.

Eleven others, including property developers and a land administration agent, were also sentenced in the case, which involved the sale of a piece of land located on Hangzhou S Road in Taipei City’s Daan District (大安) several years ago.

Su Wei-cheng (蘇維成), a former NPB deputy director, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, fined NT$10 million (US$343,000), and had his civil rights suspended for 10 years for masterminding the illegal sale of the land, formerly owned by the now defunct Taiwan Provincial Government, while he was in office.

According to the Taipei District Court ruling, Su and his accomplices, including Chen Kuan-pao (陳官保), another former NPB deputy director, and Chuang Tsui-yun (莊翠雲), an incumbent NPB deputy director, started organizing the scheme in 2002.

The land had been held in trust by the NPB since 1999 after the downsizing of the provincial -government and Su and the 14 other officials first arranged for several proxies to rent the Japanese-style wooden residential houses built before the 1940s on the site.

That enabled the proxies to be able to enjoy priority rights to purchase the land, which they later used to acquire the land at prices much lower than normal.

Su and the other 14 officials then had the land sold to two property development companies, costing the government NT$120 million in revenue, according to the 400-page verdict.

Chen was sentenced to 13 years in prison, fined NT$5 million and deprived of his civil rights for 10 years. Chuang got an eight-year jail term and a NT$3 million fine and had his civil rights suspended for eight years.

Twelve other former and incumbent NPB officials received sentences ranging from five years and six months to 10 years, according to the ruling.

Tsai Ming-jun (蔡銘俊), president of a property development company, was given a jail term of 10 years and four months, along with a fine of NT$20 million, while Chien Hsing-chi (簡性琦), a vice president of the same company, was sentenced to 10 years and two months in prison and fined NT$18 million.

Wang Ming-dao (王明道), owner of another construction company involved in the scheme, was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison, while Chan Teh-yu (詹德育), a land administration agent, got an eight-year jail term, according to the ruling.

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