Thu, Sep 14, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors summon two retired police officials in probe of procurement fraud

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

People walk outside the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday.

Photo: Chen Wei-tzu, Taipei Times

Authorities yesterday summoned two retired police officials for questioning as part of an investigation into a New Taipei City Police Department procurement scandal, in which the two allegedly helped rig public tender bids in exchange for kickbacks from contractors.

The investigation by the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office reportedly found that the two former high-ranking police officials, surnamed Huang (黃) and Chang (張), influenced procurement programs for police equipment from 2009 to 2012 before their retirement.

After questioning by prosecutors, Chang was denied bail and detained with restricted communications, while Huang was released after posting bail of NT$100,000.

Prosecutors said that Huang and Chang colluded with Sung Li-wen (宋立文), a prominent businessman who owns a shoe manufacturing company and several other firms.

Before retirement, Huang and Chang were in charge of procurement at the department. Among the tenders they oversaw were requests for 1,400 LED flashlights and 7,000 pairs of leather shoes for police officers, both of which were met with bids to their particular specifications.

Investigators found that Huang and Chang leaked the specifications for the items and the conditions of the tenders, including the minimum bid, to Sung and another businessperson surnamed Chen (陳).

Sung’s companies won the two procurement tenders, with Huang and Chang later receiving kickbacks of NT$15 to NT$20 per pair of shoes and NT$20 per LED flashlight, while Chen also received money for acting as an intermediary due to his good relationships with other high-ranking police officials, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors estimated that the three men each received about NT$400,000 in kickbacks from Sung, but there might be other benefits they received from other procurement programs.

The case marks a further fall from grace for Sung, as the shoes his company made were of high quality and had a good reputation, and were favored by top government officials, including several former presidents, prosecutors said.

Sung has been embroiled in several bid rigging cases over the past few years and was detained while under investigation.

In another case, prosecutors found that he had violated procurement terms for the Ministry of the Interior. Sung supplied leather belts made in China, a violation of a specific prohibition of that tender contract.

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