Investigators launch large-scale raids over procurement scandal
Prosecutors yesterday launched large-scale separate raids at different locations around the country, including an arsenal in Central Taiwan, as part of an ongoing probe of an alleged procurement scandal involving locally produced eight- wheeled armored vehicles.
More than 200 investigators led by 19 prosecutors from Taichung District Prosecutors Office launched separate raids at 37 locations in Northern, Central and Southern Taiwan yesterday morning.
One of the locations they searched was the 209th Factory within the Ordnance Readiness Development Center ( ORDC,
) in Jiji Township ( ), Nantou County.
The ORDC is known for production of CM-12 and CM-11 “Brave Tiger” tanks, along with CM-21 armored vehicles and “Clouded Leopard” eight-wheeled armored vehicles.
Sources told local media that prosecutors are probing an alleged procurement scandal involving the “Clouded Leopard” eight-wheeled armored vehicles as they believe that contractors used Chinese-made spare parts when building the vehicles even though they originally promised to use better- quality parts as stipulated by the contract.
Local media said the NT$4.8billion deal for the manufacture of the eight- wheeled armored vehicles was won by Chung Hsin Electric & Machinery ( ).
The locally designed and developed Clouded Leopards have been in mass production since 2012. However, the military later found that the chassis and outer plates of the vehicles were prone to damage and needed frequent repairs after they received the Clouded Leopards.
This led the military to suspect that the manufacturers of the armored vehicles used sub-quality parts during production.
Aside from the ORDC, prosecutors yesterday also searched the Procurement Office of the Defense Ministry and Chung Hsin Electric & Machinery’s Taoyuan headquarters and questioned military personnel and civilians who are believed to be familiar with the project.
They were questioned for allegedly violating the Government Procurement Act ( ).
Among those questioned yesterday were Chiang Yi-fu (
), the owner of the Chung Hsin Electric & Machinery and several of his employees.
Asked to comment, military spokesman Luo Shao- ho (
) yesterday confirmed that military personnel were questioned by prosecutors over the alleged scandal.
He told local media that the military would cooperate with the investigation. Luo, however, would not disclose more details of the case as it is an ongoing investigation.
“Clouded Leopard” eight-wheeled armored vehicles are seen being driven during a rehearsal for a military display in a military parade ground in Hsinchu County, yesterday.