Taiwan mayor candidate remanded for allegedly receiving $419,000 bribe

Taiwan mayor candidate remanded for allegedly receiving $419,000 bribe

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Keelung City Council Speaker and independent Keelung mayor candidate Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰), was remanded yesterday evening by order of the Taiwan Keelung District Court (臺灣基隆地方法院), under suspicion that he received close to NT$10 million (S$419,000) worth of bribes.

Following his arrest yesterday by agents from the Ministry of Justice's Agency Against Corruption (廉政署) and members of the Northern Mobilization Branch of the Investigation Bureau (調查局北機站), Huang's prosecutors retracted their order of arrest only to place in an application to the court to remand the suspect for tactical reasons.

Prosecutors also called upon Keelung City Council Confidential Secretary Huang Lien-mao (黃連茂), Council Speaker Secretary Chiang Pei-shan (江佩珊), Council Secretary-General Yeh Ching-tung (葉景棟), Council Procedure Department Director Yeh Ming-yuan (葉銘元) and council employee Kuo Mei-ling (郭美玲) to appear in court as defendants Thursday. Following interrogations, all five individuals have been released.

The Keelung District Court commenced court at 8:30 a.m. yesterday for a decisive hearing on the case against Huang. Huang's attorneys reportedly stated that the prosecution has conducted the various arrests and legal actions against Huang out of proper procedures. Prosecutors also merely notified Huang that he has violated the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) argued the defending attorneys, but have never explicitly explained under which articles.

However, after several hours of hearing the case, the court ruled in favour of the prosecution, which resulted in Huang's official remand at 6:45 p.m.

Prosecution Reportedly Provided Incriminating Evidence

Authorities remanded Huang under suspicion of his involvement as a middleman in a construction scandal. Prosecutors stated that Huang received bribes from construction companies, and has been noted to have bribed several Keelung City Councilors thereafter with amounts of money ranging from NT$200,000 to 500,000.

Authorities remanded Huang under suspicion of his involvement as a middleman in a construction scandal. Prosecutors stated that Huang received bribes from construction companies, and has been noted to have bribed several Keelung City Councilors thereafter with amounts of money ranging from NT$200,000 to 500,000.

Reportedly, prosecutors found proof that Huang also colluded with several souvenir businesses. Evidence allegedly shows that said businesses would provide Huang with false receipts and quotations when selling to the Keelung City Council, so that the companies and Huang could embezzle money form the city council.

Preliminary estimates of Huang's illegal earnings has been reported to be close to NT$10 million. Authorities also said that Huang used the money to purchase luxury bags and to pay off the premiums on insurance policies. The prosecution also insisted that Huang committed acts of collusion as well as witness and evidence tampering.

Huang was found guilty of violation against the Anti-Corruption Act, and was transported to the Keelung Detention Center in a prison van later in the evening.

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