A Maritime and Port Bureau technical officer surnamed Sheng (盛) was among six people yesterday listed as suspects in a probe into allegations of bid rigging, bribery and collusion involving work on the nation’s lighthouses, after raids conducted this week.
The six, who were released on bail, were among 10 people summoned on Tuesday for questioning at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
A officer at bureau’s Maritime Safety Division, Sheng paid bail of NT$150,000, while the other five, who were from a contracting company and a law firm, paid NT$50,000 to NT$150,000 each.
Photo: Chen Wei-tzu, Taipei Times
Sheng was reportedly in charge of the maintenance and reconstruction of eight lighthouses, as well as the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ public tender for the work, which began in 2017.
All six face charges of bribery and forgery, as well as contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例), said Chung Wei-han (鍾維翰), the prosecutor leading the investigation.
The tender called for qualified contracting firms to provide procurement packages, and design plans for the maintenance and reconstruction of the eight lighthouses at the Port of Taichung, Tainan Port, Changhua County’s Fangyuan Township (芳苑), Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球), Penghu County’s Cimei (七美嶼) and Dongji (東吉嶼) islets, and Kinmen County’s Beiding Island (北椗島) and Dongding Island (東碇島).
Chung said that the Ministry of Justice’s Agency Against Corruption received a tip-off about Sheng.
Investigators said that Sheng attended banquets and received regular gifts from the owner of the contracting firm, surnamed Pu (卜), and one of his staff surnamed Chen (陳).
Sheng also allegedly received various bribes of NT$20,000 to NT$50,000 from Pu from September 2018 to August last year.
Pu reportedly also paid for all of Sheng’s airfare and hotel expenses when going to the lighthouses to monitor the work.
The law firm allegedly produced forged documents to fake progress at the lighthouse projects, which Sheng allegedly signed and approved, despite the work falling behind schedule and not being inspected.
Prosecutors accused Sheng of colluding with the law firm.
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