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Property tycoon detained on bribery, embezzlement allegations

2017/07/01 19:02:21

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) A district court in Taipei on Saturday approved a request made by prosecutors to detain a property tycoon for his role in allegations of bribery and embezzlement.

The Taipei District Court said that it has handed down a ruling to approve a request made by the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office on a day earlier to detain Farglory Group (遠雄集團) founder Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄).

After a hearing attended by Chao, the court said that there is sufficient suspicion for the court to come to that conclusion that Chao is likely to destroy, forge, or alter evidence, while he could also conspire with co-offenders or witnesses in the bribery and embezzlement case.

Chao is allegedly involved in the embezzlement of funds from Farglory Life Insurance Co. (遠雄人壽) in 2007 and 2008. He has also been accused of bribing officials of the New Taipei City government in 2013 to facilitate the rezoning of a former coal mine in Tucheng and Xinzhuang of New Taipei.

New Taipei City Councilor Chou Sheng-kao (周勝考) has also been detained for his role in the bribery and embezzlement accusations related to Chao.

On Thursday, prosecutors launched a massive raid on offices and residences of the accused in the Farglory case in Taipei and New Taipei, and summoned a total of 66 people, including Chao, Chou and about 30 Farglory employees, for questioning.

On Friday, prosecutors filed a motion to detain Chao and Chou, which prompted the court to hold a hearing on the case before the detention decision.

Although Chao asked the court to allow him to be released on bail, citing poor health, the court denied his request and issued the approval for his detention.

Farglory, which expressed regret over the court decision, said that the group will file a petition with the court against the detention ruling soon after it receives a court document and consults with legal experts on the decision.

Despite opposition to the detention ruling, Farglory said that it will work closely with prosecutors and investigators on the case.

Fargory said that its operations remain normal despite Chao being detained, adding that the group has not felt any pinch in terms of its finances and that it will do its best to protect the interests of its customers and sub-contractors.

In addition, the group said it owes an apology to its employees who were summoned by prosecutors for questioning and to the public for the chaos caused by the investigations. (Bu Wang Yang-yu, Jeffrey Wu and Frances Huang)

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