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Taiwan court sets bail for former top firefighter

Taiwan court sets bail for former top firefighter

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taipei District Court set bail of NT$30 million (US$1 million) for the release of former National Fire Agency Director-General Huang Chi-min Tuesday.
The former government official has been charged with accepting NT$19.24 million (US$642,000) in illegal payments between 2002 and 2006. Prosecutors have asked for a life sentence.
The court reportedly decided to free him because now that he had spent about one year in detention, the investigation into his case had been completed and he could no longer be suspected of colluding with other defendants.
The court set the official bail at NT$5 million (US$167,000), but demanded Huang’s wife sign a document promising the payment of NT$25 million (US$834,000) if he failed to appear in court punctually, reports said.
The former top firefighter would also have to report to police on a daily basis and was not allowed to move house or to travel overseas.
Huang was detained on August 29, 2012, on suspicion of having pocketed bribes on nine contracts with firefighting equipment suppliers. During searches of his homes and offices, investigators found at least 18 gold bars valued at more than NT$1.5 million (US$50,000) each.
In May, Huang, his former deputy Chen Wen-lung and seven other individuals were indicted on charges varying from forgery and influence peddling to breach of trust and violations of the government procurement act.
The latest charges accused Huang and his accomplices of having drawn up the tender for a disaster-prevention satellite communications system in order to fit one particular company hoping to bid for the project in 2004, even though they knew the supplier had not finished the development of its system.
When the time came in 2008 to award a maintenance contract for the project, Huang reportedly forced the company first in line for the deal to withdraw in favor of the original supplier, prosecutors said. When Huang and Chen heard the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau was beginning to look into the new contract in 2009, they forged documents to supply to the investigators, according to the charges.
The supplier reportedly profited from the scheme to the tune of NT$12 million (US$400,000), while a professor accused of participating in the conspiracy received a ‘consulting fee’ of NT$2 million (US$66,000) from a subcontractor.
The former chief firefighter reportedly wired tens of millions of New Taiwan dollars to his son in China, who was put on a wanted list. Some of the money might also have gone to purchase real estate in Japan and a cram school in Taiwan, reports said.


Updated : 2021-07-31 04:19 GMT+08:00