In­ves­ti­ga­tors launch large-scale raids over pro­cure­ment scan­dal

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

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.

CNA

“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.

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