Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Two teams established to investigate Ching Fu case

DOUBLE FAULT:Ching Fu vice chairman Chen Wei-chih was granted permission to attend a tennis match, but he changed his mind after media reported on the story

By Huang Chien-hua and Peng Wan-hsin  /  Staff reporters

Prosecutors and lawmakers have put together separate teams to investigate alleged negligence involving the awarding of a now-defaulted NT$22.1 billion (US$732.5 million) syndicated loan from nine state-run banks to Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co.

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office, which is spearheading the investigation, has assembled a team of 11 prosecutors to expedite the probe.

After the Executive Yuan on Thursday released a report detailing negligence by the Ministry of National Defense and First Bank, the office increased the scope of its investigation into excessive loaning to Ching Fu to include potential illegality in the bidding process for a minesweeper-building contract.

The office on Wednesday sent Investigation Bureau personnel to the ministry to seize dozens of boxes of paperwork related to the government’s planned procurement of the minesweepers.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), who is heading an ad hoc investigation team for the case under the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, said the team had received 1,419 documents from the ministry and would endeavor to identify suspicious aspects of the procurement that the Executive Yuan has yet to clarify.

One of the documents shows that a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker had twice requested the ministry’s call-for-bids announcement, Lo said.

The documents also show that CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台船), Ching Fu’s primary competitor in the bidding process, filed a complaint against the procurement with the Public Construction Commission, which then held at least seven meetings with the ministry, Ching Fu and CSBC to review the process.

The legislature’s Finance Committee is also set to start viewing documents and launch an investigation into the scandal after passing draft guidelines for the operation of the committee’s ad-hoc investigation subcommittee.

Meanwhile, Ching Fu vice chairman Chen Wei-chih (陳偉志), who was released on bail last month, has canceled a request to play a two-day tennis match in Taichung today and tomorrow out of concern over “projecting a negative image.”

Prosecutors had allowed Chen to report to a Taichung police station instead of his local police station today and tomorrow, but Chen apparently changed his mind after the media reported on his plan to play in the competition.

His father, Ching Fu president Chen Ching-nan (陳慶男), and mother Lu Chao-hsia (盧昭霞), both of whom are defendants in the case, have also been instructed to report to the police station on Kaohsiung’s Fusing Road.

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