Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Twenty-two people charged over rigging government bids

PROCUREMENT:A former official in charge of the NIA’s information division allegedly received NT$5.6 million in kickbacks and bribes from contractors

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Twenty-two people, including officials from the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) and the National Immigration Agency (NIA), were indicted yesterday in a corruption probe involving several government procurement contracts.

Former MOI Information Center director Shih Ming-te (施明德) headed up the list of suspects, who were charged with contravening provisions of the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) and the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例).

Shih and digital network company Transtep Technology Group chairman Lee Chi-shen (李奇申), who have been in custody since April, remained in detention with restricted communication.

The corruption probe into the procurement irregularities began in November 2017, when the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office and agents from the Ministry of Justice’s Agency Against Corruption (AAC) conducted their first round of raids.

Shih served as the head of the NIA’s Information Division from 2006 to 2009, when he was in charge of more than a dozen government tenders to upgrade computers and install digal information processing systems.

The largest procurement that Shih handled was a NT$770 million (US$24.5 million at the current exchange rate) contract to install new computer systems that process the personal identification data of travelers entering and departing the nation at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, with the tender details announced in 2009.

Prosecutors said they found evidence of Shih colluding with other ministry officials to receive cash and other financial benefits from contractors in exchange for leaking information about government tenders.

Shih allegedly received a total of NT$5.6 million in bribes and kickbacks from contractors, prosecutors said.

They alleged that Shih had over the years used the bank accounts of his wife, sisters and other family members to deposit the bribes from Lee and other contractors, and used these accounts for money laundering to hide the money trail.

Lawmakers have raised concerns about national security breaches as Shih allegedly accepted bribes from the winning company that would have installed electronics and communications equipment supplied by Chinese subcontractors.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top