Four people were detained and questioned for their suspected roles in a procurement scandal, which involved the development of mobile radar systems at the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), Taiwan’s top military hardware development center, and a computer component supplier.
Public prosecutors in Taoyuan, where the institute’s headquarters are located, took into custody three staff and a manager from the Taiwanese contractor company MiTAC for questioning on Wednesday, with all four suspects detained and held incommunicado as of yesterday.
The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office said the case concerned forgery of data and fabrication of evaluation results in the procurement of “Radar Vehicle for Field Operation and Air Defense,” which was undertaken by the Digital Warfare Section of the CSIST Information and Communications Research Division.
The program was commissioned in May, 2011, by the Ministry of National Defense Armaments Bureau as a pilot project to develop a vehicle-mounted mobile radar system equipped with a “radar signal generator.”
Computer manufacturer MiTAC won the contract order, with one radar vehicle unit costing about NT$70 million (US$2.22 million).
The tender called for the vehicle to be capable of carrying the radar equipment payload with great “slope-climbing ability” to prevent it from toppling over when the vehicle is advancing at 8kph up a 40o incline.
Investigators said that they uncovered forged evaluation results, adding that the vehicle could only advanced at about 6kph up a slope.
The evaluation was done at the institute’s vehicle research and testing center, and its report was presented to the Digital Warfare Section and MiTAC.
Prosecutors alleged three CSIST staff at the Digital Warfare Section responsible for the project altered the test results in collusion with the MiTAC manager, presenting the vehicle as meeting required specifications, and having passed the final approval and acceptance test for the project.
After receiving a tip-off, the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office carried out an investigation and allegedly found evidence of forgery and tampered evaluation results.
They detained the three CSIST staff — section head Chou Chih-lung (周志隆), researcher Wu Chewng-hsun (吳政勳) and technician Hsiao Chen-yi (蕭振益), and MiTAC’s IT engineering section manager Wu Chun-lin (武俊麟) on Wednesday.
Although during questioning all four denied having committed the alleged violations, prosecutors have indicted them on forgery, profiteering and other offenses, while requesting the suspects be detained incommunicado to prevent possible collusion and destruction of evidence.
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