Three Chunghwa Telecom Co (CHT) employees and two contractors were yesterday released after questioning about alleged financial irregularities relating to CHT investments in wind power projects.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday summoned the three CHT employees for questioning and later listed engineer Tsai Cheng-feng (蔡政峰) and two section chiefs — Hsu Yung-chang (徐永昌) and Yang Chun-chi (楊俊吉) — as suspects facing charges of special breach of trust and fraud, along with contravening the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法).
Prosecutors also summoned for questioning contractor Taiwan Wind & Solar Co (TWS) owner Lin Chun-cheng (林俊呈) and top executive Lin Shu-ting (林舒婷) for allegedly colluding with the CHT staff in six bogus tender projects from which they made a profit of about NT$15 million (US$497,512).
Four of the five were ordered to post bail: Tsai and Lin Chun-cheng, NT$1 million each; Hsu, NT$200,000; and Yang NT$100,000.
When Tsai could not come up with the NT$1 million, prosecutors later lowered the bail to NT$200,000 and released Tsai.
Lin Shu-ting was released without bail.
The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau started an initial investigation after being tipped off about the alleged irregularities.
Investigators said that from 2015 to 2016, Tsai headed the CHT engineering unit responsible for investing in wind power generation.
They alleged that Tsai, acting in complicity with his superiors — Hsu and Yang — colluded with the Hsinchu-based company, which described itself as a provider of renewable energy services and a specialist in wind power generation projects.
Tsai allegedly falsified accounts to make it appear that CHT secured six wind power generation projects by TWS, which turned out to be bogus projects, investigators said.
The projects included procurement for telecoms equipment and power generation machinery, with Tsai directing some purchasing and engineering works to two other subcontractors of CHT, which played along with the scam, investigators said.
Through the bogus projects, the contracting companies received about NT$15 million in funds from CHT, which TWS executives used to obtain bank loans and offset their debts, they said.
However, as TWS’ finances worsened in the following years, its bad check record prompted an investigation.
Prosecutors said that the investigation was ongoing to verify if there were more CHT officials involved in the scheme.
Formerly a state monopoly, CHT was privatized in 2005, but is still the nation’s largest telecoms, with 35.29 percent of its shares owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
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