Mon, Apr 01, 2013 - Page 3 News List

More officials suspected in Towers case

PLOT THICKENS?Prosecutors said that the investigation into the Taipei Twin Towers project suggests that more city officials were involved than the two already detained

By Lin Chun-hung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Prosecutors added that in accordance with amendments to the Mass Rapid Transit Act (大眾捷運法) in 2011, private landowners cannot participate in bidding for public projects, but it would seem that this restriction had not been observed in the Taipei Twin Towers project.

Prosecutors said investigators are also probing allegations that Lai, after receiving the bribe, had also proposed an amendment to the act to allow private landowners to participate in public project bids.

They said that of the 37 landowners on whose property the project was supposed to be built, one owner, Lee Chiu-ming (李邱明), had been given the right to bid on the project last year using legislative regulations from seven years ago. They suspected that Cheng had been behind Lee being granted the right and that the contractor had given Lee the money to participate in the bidding.

Prosecutors said that all they have found in the course of their investigation points to other governmental officials’ involvement because of the calculated and precise ways in which the bidding process had transpired.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said they also suspected the committee members that were in charge of reviewing the project’s bid of malfeasance, saying that some members had given Taipei Gateway International Development excessively high marks so it would pass the review.

It was these high marks that allowed the committee to choose Taipei Gateway International Development instead of the BES Engineering Corp, the second bidder, prosecutors said.

They added that that the alleged connections of some members at Taipei Gateway International Development to organized crime figures — some of whom are suspected to be loan sharks — also raised suspicion and warranted a thorough probe into how the company had won the bid.

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