More than 10 elementary-school principals from the New Taipei City (新北市) area are being investigated for allegedly accepting kickbacks from school lunch dealers, the Banciao District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.
The office has arraigned six school principals for questioning and searched several elementary schools yesterday — including three schools in Banciao (板橋), two in Sinjhuang (新莊), two in Lujhou (蘆洲), and one each in Sansia (三峽) and Shulin (樹林).
A preliminary investigation showed that the lunch dealers might have bribed the school principals to receive a better evaluation grade, enabling them to make a bid for supplying school lunches, prosecutors said.
Schools usually hold bids for lunchbox suppliers once every semester. To gain an edge, some dealers would add NT$3 to NT$5 per lunchbox as a bribe for school principals, prosecutors said, adding that some school heads were receiving up to NT$200,000 to NT$300,000 a semester.
Ten school lunch dealers, which supply more than 80 to 90 percent of the city’s elementary school lunches, were also searched yesterday, they said.
Secondary arraignments targeting members of school committees that evaluate these lunches will be held today, they added.
The prosecution has preliminarily excluded other administrative-level personnel at the schools from the investigation, saying school principals are the primary focus at the moment.
New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said he was sorry to hear about the corruption allegations, vowing that no matter where the money trail leads to, he would track it to the very end.
New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said that the issue first came to light in May and the city’s Anti-Corruption Department was asked to look into the matter.
The department found several incidents of principals accepting bribes, or problems with the evaluation committee members, Hou said.
The information was forwarded to the Banciao District Prosecutors’ Office for further investigation, he added.
New Taipei City’s Parents’ Association chairman Wan Chin-yi (王欽益) said he was shocked and also angry on hearing the news, adding that he hoped it was only an error on the part of some schools’ bidding process.
Additional reporting by Tseng Te-feng
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff writer
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung