Taiwan charges 15 in corruption scandal at country’s main airport

Former chief engineer at airport company demanded 3 percent in kickbacks

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2.

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A former head of engineering and 14 others were charged Thursday (December 12) with corruption involving the building of Terminal 2 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

In 2017 and 2018, Lin Wen-chen (林文禎), 58, demanded payments equaling 3 percent or NT$6 million (US$197,800) on projects worth a total of NT$200 million, the United Daily News and the Liberty Times reported.

The investigation started rolling in 2016 after repeated incidents reported by the media of leaking ceilings and floors, indicating the new terminal struggled with serious quality problems.

Prosecutors spent two years investigating the matter until they reportedly found Lin had passed on confidential information to bidders, revised budgets and misreported prices in order to favor certain companies.

At least five contracts were likely to have been affected by his practices, reports said. The transactions involved cash stuffed in fruit boxes handed over to an engineer named Wu Chun-tsung (吳俊宗), 45, who functioned as a go-between, and free family trips to Cambodia and Okinawa.

Lin reportedly admitted he had accepted money, but said the companies had been the ones to offer him the commissions voluntarily, but the businesses accused the official of having come up with the demand for 3 percent.