Thu, Nov 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ching Fu chairman freed on reduced bail of NT$32m

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co chairman Chen Ching-nan (陳慶男) was yesterday released on bail after the Kaohsiung District Court approved a request to reduce his bail from NT$100 million (US$3.23 million) to NT$32 million.

Chen, who has been charged with fraud relating to a naval procurement contract, had been under judicial detention since June.

The court said it approved his defense lawyer’s request to reduce the bail in consideration of Chen’s advanced age (78) and deteriorating health on the condition that he stay in his residence in Kaohsiung and report to the neighborhood police twice a day.

Chen, along with four other people affiliated with the shipbuilding company, were indicted on fraud, breach of trust and banking law contraventions in February.

The other four are Chen’s wife, Chen Lu Chao-hsia (陳盧昭霞), the company director; his son, Chen Wei-chih (陳偉志), the deputy chairman; former chief executive officer Chien Liang-chien (簡良鑑); and former company consultant Lee Wei-feng (李維峰).

The case stemmed from 2014, when Ching Fu Shipbuilding won the NT$35.85 billion contract with the Republic of China Navy to construct six minesweepers.

However, the Ministry of National Defense dissolved the contract in December last year, after finding financial irregularities.

Chen Ching-nan, who had been out on bail, was detained in June after his son jumped bail and fled abroad in May.

The court ordered that his bail be raised to NT$100 million.

Prosecutors said Ching Fu had forged proof-of-material procurement documents to give the impression that the company was meeting the phase targets for the minesweeper contract.

Following the news, New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) condemned the decision.

“This is outrageous. How can the bail court permit chairman Chen to be released on bail? Did they not see that his son jumped bail and fled the country?” Huang said.

“I don’t believe the NT$32 million bail will stop Chen from fleeing,” Huang said. “Chen and his company owed banks and their contractors billions of NT dollars, but claimed they were poor and have no money to pay them back. Yet, within one day, his family was able to get hold of NT$32 million to pay his bail. This is unbelievable.”

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