Former Taoyuan County deputy commissioner Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) admitted that he requested NT$26 million (US$866,000) in bribes from Farglory Group chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄), prosecutors said yesterday.
Prosecutors yesterday summoned Yeh from the Taipei Detention Center for questioning.
According to prosecutors, Yeh said that because Farglory showed great interest in securing the affordable housing project in Taoyuan County’s Bade City (八德), he asked Chao for NT$26 million in kickbacks, and Chao agreed.
Prosecutors allege Yeh received NT$16 million via a middleman, retired professor Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠), but had yet to receive an additional NT$10 million.
Meanwhile, the Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported in its latest edition that the Agency Against Corruption suspected five government officials might have been involved in Chao’s alleged bribery case.
More details from the Farglory scandal emerged yesterday showing the broad collusion between government and business conglomerates.
Yeh is alleged to have headed the task force to teach students about the Taoyuan Aerotropolis land and business development project.
Critics said that Yeh was Taoyuan County Government’s appointed convener for the education task force mandated to put the Aerotropolis project into textbooks for students from grade 1 to grade 7.
Taoyuan Education Union chairperson Peng Ju-yu (彭如玉) said: “The project is not yet off the ground, and already government is set to brain wash our students. The head of the Taoyuan Education Bureau even helped to put the dirty hand of political interference into our school.”
She provided documents to the media reportedly showing that the Taoyuan County Government circulated official papers last month to convene meetings with schools and educators on drafting materials for the Aetropolis project to put into textbooks.
Yeh was then appointed deputy to Taoyun County Commissioner John Wu(吳志揚) to implement and fast-track the Aerotropolis project — which has been valued at NT$2.4 trillion to develop 4,771 hectares of land.
Many critics and activists see it as a devious land grab by the government in collusion with business conglomerates at the expense of private citizens, as it will expropriate land from more than 12,000 households and force them to relocate.
Pan Chung-cheng (潘忠政), head of a local civic society alliance, blasted the Taoyuan Government at the press conference yesterday.
“Yeh took bribe money and is mired in corruption charges. So now we have legitimate doubts about the Aerotropolis project. Is it necessary, is it justified and is it in the public’s best interest ?” Pan asked.
“We see the Taoyuan County Government putting their dirty hands into our schools. This is nothing but enslaving the students, brainwashing them to believe that everything done by politicians is good and justified,” Pan said.