Taipei City of­fi­cials or­der ‘Villa 32’ well to be sealed

MND de­nies new se­cu­rity breach al­le­ga­tion

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Taipei City of­fi­cials is­sued doc­u­ments de­tail­ing wa­ter us­age vi­o­la­tions to own­ers of “Villa 32” yes­ter­day, fol­low­ing com­plaints from area res­i­dents.

Of­fi­cials stated that while op­er­a­tors of the re­sort had ob­tained per­mits to use white and blue sul­fur hot spring wa­ter from the Taipei Wa­ter Depart­ment (

), they did not ob­tain legal per­mits to dig wells.

Ac­cord­ing to the Taipei City Gov­ern­ment Depart­ment of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment ( ), vi­o­la­tions to Ar­ti­cle 32 of the “Hot Springs Act” ( ) will re­sult in fines of NT$50,000. The city has given op­er­a­tors of the villa un­til 5 p.m. on Satur­day to seal the well.

Well Used Only for Scenic

Pur­poses: ‘Villa 32’

The CEO of “Villa 32” Liu Mi­nan ( ) said that the well in ques­tion was used for scenic dec­o­ra­tion only, and not as a source of hot spring wa­ter. Re­spond­ing to the city’s or­ders, Liu replied that when the villa was be­ing con­structed ini­tially, the well open­ing was small and was not used for hot spring wa­ter. He said he had not re­ceived writ­ten doc­u­men­ta­tion from the city, but would take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion within three days.

In­creased Scru­tiny over Il­le­gal

Im­prove­ments

Fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of build­ing code vi­o­la­tions of “Villa 32” in­volv­ing il­le­gal im­prove­ments, of­fi­cials from Taipei City’s Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment Of­fice (

) ar­rived at the premises of the prop­erty to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

The sec­tion leader of the in­ves­tiga­tive group re­ported that “Villa 32” had three ar­eas of il­le­gal im­prove­ments dat­ing back to 2005, to­tal­ing 67 ping (ap­prox­i­mately 221 square me­ters). Yes­ter­day’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions listed an ad­di­tional 56 ping ( ap­prox­i­mately 184.8 square me­ters) of the first and third floors of the struc­ture to be il­le­gal constructions. Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (

), who threat­ened to de­mol­ish the villa Wed­nes­day if it vi­o­lated build­ing codes, re­solved swift ac­tion on the mat­ter and other cases con­cern­ing il­le­gal build­ing im­prove­ments. Ko said that the

The Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense said Thurs­day that an al­leged irregularity at an Army base in Taichung five years ago did not amount to a se­cu­rity breach be­cause the base was open to vis­i­tors at the time.

The min­istry was re­spond­ing to al­le­ga­tions by Taipei City Coun­cilor Lee Ching-yuan (

), who said Wed­nes­day that an in­ci­dent sim­i­lar to the re­cent one in­volv­ing a mil­i­tary he­li­copter pi­lot had oc­curred in 2010 at a Taichung base, where AH1W attack he­li­copters were sta­tioned.

Lee said a high rank­ing of­fi­cer in the Army 10th Corps had taken his friends, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and pri­vate sec­tor ex­ec­u­tives, to the base to see an AH1W he­li­copter, the most ad­vanced weapon of its kind in Tai­wan’s armed forces at the time.

That was a breach of se­cu­rity by the Army’s 602nd Avi­a­tion Brigade, Lee said, dis­play­ing a photo that he said showed the vis­i­tors on the mil­i­tary base.

Base Open Day

But De­fense Min­istry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he (

) said at a news con­fer­ence city’s fail­ure to dis­man­tle il­le­gal im­prove­ments was a re­flec­tion of gov­ern­ment “im­po­tence.”

” Be­cause th­ese struc­tures aren’t dis­man­tled, the gov­ern­ment has no credit with the peo­ple. This must be tack­led,” he added.

Op­er­a­tors of “Villa 32” have 20 days to com­ply with ex­ist­ing build­ing codes. CEO Liu said that the man­age­ment would re­move the il­le­gal ad­di­tions, and said plans were in place to make the prop­erty com­ply com­pletely with build­ing reg­u­la­tions. He also in­di­cated that cus­tomers af­fected dur­ing the build­ing ren­o­va­tion pe­riod would be re­funded. He also de­nied al­le­ga­tions that the pro­pri­etors pres­sured city coun­cilors to pre­vent ear­lier dis­man­tling of the villa’s il­le­gal im­prove­ments.

”Villa 32” ( ) is a Beitou based re­sort run by the fam­ily of Lieu­tenant Colonel Lao Naicheng’s ( ) wife Chiu Ya- Thurs­day that there was no vi­o­la­tion of mil­i­tary se­cu­rity be­cause the vis­i­tors were at the base on an open day.

He said Lee’s photo showed a “group of vis­i­tors pos­ing in front of a he­li­copter, and a pi­lot sit­ting in the cock­pit.”

Thurs­day’s al­le­ga­tions fol­lowed scan­dals in­volv­ing an Army pi­lot who gave his friends and rel­a­tives ac­cess to the coun­try’s most ad­vanced attack he­li­copter, the AH-64E Apache, in vi­o­la­tion of mil­i­tary reg­u­la­tions.

Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng ( ), a pi­lot in the Army’s 601st Avi­a­tion Brigade, was found to have brought the group of peo­ple, in­clud­ing TV host­ess Janet Lee (

), her rel­a­tives and friends, to see the Apaches at their base in Long­tan on March 29 with­out ap­proval from his su­pe­ri­ors.

Some of the vis­i­tors even boarded an Apache to take pho­tos. The case came to light af­ter Lee posted four pho­tos of the tour on her Face­book page, in­clud­ing one of her in the chop­per’s cock­pit. It was also found that Lao had not re­turned an Apache flight hel­met af­ter a train­ing mission last Oc­to­ber, but rather had worn it as part of a Hal­loween cos­tume at a party at his home, ac­cord­ing ching ( ). Lao is cur­rently at the cen­ter of an un­fold­ing mil­i­tary scan­dal in­volv­ing unau­thor- to a De­fense Min­istry in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Lao has since been re­moved from his post as deputy head of a he­li­copter squadron in Taoyuan un­der the Army Avi­a­tion Spe­cial Forces Com­mand, while the head of the Army Avi­a­tion Spe­cial Forces Com­mand has also been re­moved and other high-level of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing Chief of the Gen­eral Staff Gen. Yen De-fa ( ) and Army Com­man­der Gen. Chiu Kuo-cheng ( ), have been pe­nal­ized.

At Thurs­day’s press con­fer­ence, Luo also ad­dressed lo­cal me­dia re­ports that an­other pi­lot in the 601st Avi­a­tion Brigade had taken vis­i­tors to the Taoyuan base on March 29.

Video at a Night Club

Luo said there was no se­cu­rity breach in that case be­cause the pi­lot had ob­tained the nec­es­sary per­mis­sion to take the vis­i­tors there.

Mean­while, he said, Lao is con­sid­er­ing tak­ing legal ac­tion over the cir­cu­la­tion on the In­ter­net of a video pur­port­ing to show him en­gaged in in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior at a night club. Lao has said that the per­son in the video is not him, ac­cord­ing to Luo. ized tours of an Apache he­li­copter of the Army Spe­cial Forces (

) 601st Brigade.

CNA

Taipei City of­fi­cials take pic­tures of “Villa 32” yes­ter­day in Xin Beitou. The build­ing is sus­pected of vi­o­lat­ing ex­ist­ing reg­u­la­tions on the us­age of hot spring wa­ter. Per­son­nel from the city’s Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment Of­fice were un­able to en­ter the build­ing.

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