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Prosecutors question 13 in military scandal

Prosecutors question 13 in military scandal

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors were questioning 13 military officers and business people in a corruption scandal related to the procurement of parts for tanks, reports said Wednesday.
The New Taipei District Prosecutors Office mobilized the Ministry of Justice’s Agency Against Corruption and the Banqiao District military police to raid 17 sites across the country, including military installations in Taipei’s Nangang District and Nantou County, and the naval base at Zuoying in Kaohsiung, reports said.
The raids netted ten defendants and three witnesses who were being questioned Wednesday evening. The group included five serving military officers, a civilian Ministry of National Defense official and several business people, reports said.
Instead of buying parts for tanks and amphibious vehicles from two approved suppliers, the suspects reportedly procured the products from other sources, violating military rules.
The unapproved businessmen reportedly paid bribes to procurement officers to draw up suitable tenders and slant the decision-making process in their favor, prosecutors said.
Two tank-related projects might have amounted to NT$300 million (US$9.5 million) alone, reports said. The investigation, which started two years ago, was reportedly continuing to find out whether other procurement cases and more bribes were involved.
Some of the suspects were being questioned by the AAC Wednesday evening, while others had been transferred to the care of prosecutors.
The Ministry of National Defense said it was fully cooperating with the judiciary in tracking down suspicious activities. First evidence of corruption was reportedly found as far back as December 2013, after which a special taskforce was set up to cooperate with the judiciary, the ministry said.
Taiwan’s military has repeatedly struggled with scandals, either related to corruption or to spying by officers on behalf of China.


Updated : 2021-09-26 21:35 GMT+08:00