New Taipei detains more principals in bribe scandal


TAIPEI–Two out of seven principals of elementary and junior high schools in New Taipei City who had been questioned for allegedly accepting bribes from catering firms were placed under detention yesterday.

Principal Liu Chuang-jen of the Houde Elementary School and Principal Tseng Mao-shan of the Touchien Junior High School were held incommunicado on charges of corruption and for fear of collusion, the Banqiao District Prosecutors Office announced, as the scandal over school lunch catering escalated.

Five other principals, still under investigation, were released on NT$1 million (US$33,333) bail after lengthy interrogations that began on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the owner of a food company, surnamed Yeh, was also held incommunicado on charges of bribing school principals. The probes — the third wave of investigations since October — were launched in response to tip-offs that some lunch suppliers in New Taipei, formerly known as Taipei County, had bribed school executives to secure catering contracts.

In the last two waves of investigations, the prosecutors searched 23 elementary schools and seven junior high schools in the city and interrogated 10 principals.