Nov 21, 2017 Market Comments Off on Premier: Justice Ministry is investigating Ching Fu Case
Premier William Lai says that the Ministry of Justice is investigating Taiwan's largest private shipbuilder -- Ching Fu Shipbuilding. The company is embroiled in a fraud scandal involving a defense ministry contract to build six minesweepers.
Lai spoke on Tuesday about the investigation.
When it comes to the case of the minesweepers, the Cabinet has already conducted a complete investigation," said Lai. "As to the question of appropriations, we're handing over all of our information to the Ministry of Justice to conduct a more in-depth investigation."
The fraud allegedly occurred when Ching Fu Shipbuilding was trying to obtain a NT$20.5 billion syndicated loan from a group of nine domestic lenders led by First Commercial Bank. Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office, which has been investigating the case since August, suspects the shipbuilder used bogus documents to pave the way for the loan. First Commercial Bank then filed a criminal lawsuit against Ching Fu Shipbuilding in October for breach of contract.
There have been questions about whether the Presidential Office had pressured the navy into speeding up payments to the shipbuilding company, which is reported to be on the brink of bankruptcy.
However, Navy Commander Huang Shu-kuang clarified that the shipbuilding project was carried out legally and he was aware of all payment details related to the shipbuilder.
Meanwhile, one of Taiwan's allies, the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, says that Ching Fu has failed to deliver a fishing boat in accordance with a contract. It's reported that the company then mortgaged the boat to borrow US$30 million from a foreign bank.
A foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday that the incident would not affect ties between the two countries, and that the foreign ministry was willing to offer assistance if needed.
Source: Radio Taiwan International