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Alleged irregularities in military parts procurement under probe

Alleged irregularities in military parts procurement under probe

Taipei, June 11 (CNA) Taichung prosecutors launched an investigation Thursday into allegations of irregularities in the military's procurement of parts for the locally developed "Clouded Leopard" armored infantry combat vehicles. A team of more than 200 investigators, led by 19 Taichung prosecutors, is looking into allegations that a contract for the supply of parts for the military vehicles was awarded to a local company that bid NT$4.8 billion (US$155.17 million), well below the stated bottom line of NT$7.8 billion. Ministry of National Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he (???) said the military will work with the prosecutors in the investigation and that anyone found culpable will be held accountable. The investigators, split into several groups, are collecting evidence from the company's offices in Taichung and New Taipei, the military's ordnance readiness and development center, and the 209th arsenal under the Defense Ministry's Armaments Bureau, which is responsible for developing and producing the armored vehicles. Since mass production of the armored vehicles began in 2012, there have been frequent problems with their power systems, which raised suspicions of substandard components. In the probe, prosecutors are questioning people at the supply company and the 209th arsenal ordnance readiness and development center. News of the suspected irregularities surfaced Thursday as the military was rehearsing for a large-scale display to mark the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China's 1945 victory over Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War, part of World War II in which Japan and the other Axis powers were defeated. At the rehearsal for the July 4 display, Taiwan's armed forces showcased various weapons systems, military equipment and vehicles, including the "Clouded Leopard" armored infantry combat vehicle. (By Lu Hsin-hui and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-16 19:12 GMT+08:00