AAC detains Kaohsiung prosecutor over scams

The China Post news staff

A probe by the Agency Against Corruption (AAC) has intensified following the detainment of a senior Kaohsiung prosecutor for alleged corruption. In addition to Jing Tian-bo, a veteran member at the Kaohsiung Prosecutors Office, Jing’s wife Peng Chung-mei, a woman named Sun Ya-hui, and a man surnamed Huang have also been detained. Jing was found to have taken bribes when one of his colleagues was investigating a separate criminal case.

Senior officials at the Kaohsiung Prosecutors Office placed Jing under close monitoring. The AAC, newly established by the Ministry of Justice, joined the probe and found that Jing handled a case of selling illegal weight-loss drugs involving Sun, an overseas Chinese from Malaysia, in September 2010. After learning that Sun’s family has investments in mining operations in Malaysia, Jing struck a deal with Sun to make capital investment of NT$15 million in Sun’s family business. In return, Jing exonerated Sun from the charges of selling the illegal, slimming drugs. Investigators also found that Jing was frequently entertained at “girly”restaurants with female hostesses when the two sides were seeking a deal. Jing and his wife also made several trips to Malaysia, with Sun’s family paying the costs. The man surnamed Huang was a liaison between the two sides. A total of 18 people were interviewed and prosecutors decided to detain Jing and the three others. As a veteran prosecutor, Jing put up a strong defense and denied the charges at the district court hearing. The prosecutors eventually won approval from the court to lock the suspects separately to prevent possible collusion. Prosecutors said Jing has allegedly accepted bribes from other suspects, with illegal gains estimated at close to NT$1 billion, including payoffs from Sun’s family.

There were reports that Jing and Sun were old acquaintances. Prosecutors said they will get a clearer pictures after conducting follow-up probes. AAC officials urged all people learning of possible corrupt activities involving prosecutors or other government employees to contact the agency for investigation to help maintain a clean government. The AAC’s 24-hour anti-corruption toll-free hotline: 0800-286-586 and Fax: (02) 2562-1156.

Other hotlines fighting grafts include: (02) 2567-5586 in north Taiwan, (049) 2370-586 in central region of the island, and (07) 323-5586 in southern Taiwan.