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PX Mart chief questioned

PX Mart chief questioned

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Supermarket chain PX Mart Chairman Lin Min-hsiung was being questioned by prosecutors Friday in connection with an alleged bribery scandal also involving former New Taipei City Vice Mayor Hsu Chih-chien, reports said.
Hsu, 64, was detained last July for allegedly accepting cash and gold from two real estate developers in return for approving urban renewal and construction projects.
When Lin left the interrogation site Friday evening, he told reporters he was not guilty of any crime and had only been questioned as a witness, not as a defendant.
The case which allegedly involved Lin was reportedly similar to Hsu’s previous problems, as the supermarket chief might have won a green light for an urban renewal project in New Taipei City’s Tamshui District thanks to Hsu. The allegations are not directly related to PX Mart, but to a construction company which Lin also chairs, the Yuanlih Group.
Investigators reportedly raided nine locations Friday, including the headquarters of both Yuanlih and PX Mart, and hauled six people in for questioning, including Lin and Yuanlih spokesman Tsai Chien-sheng.
Between May 2011 and January 2014, Hsu had contacts with companies and managers in the Yuanlih Group and had dinners with them at expensive clubs and hotels, reports said. At the same time, the companies were vying for contracts related to two urban renewal projects in Tamshui.
The two sides discussed how to change the tender requirements in Yuanlih’s favor, while an account was set up where millions of New Taiwan dollars in bribes were paid, reports said.
Hsu’s role was important because as vice mayor, he also served as chairman of the committee which reviewed construction and urban renewal projects in the city.
The former official has been detained with a woman, Chou Li-huei, who acted as intermediary with the alleged corrupt business people. Prosecutors questioned Hsu again Friday morning as the raids against the Yuanlih Group went ahead, media reported.
Hsu's role in the scandals has reflected badly on his immediate superior, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu, who also chairs the Kuomintang. The mayor is not thought to have been involved in any of his deputy's schemes.