Navy could soon start process to cancel minesweeper contract
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Navy sent an emissary to the Kaohsiung branch of the First
Commercial Bank (第一銀行) to demand the transfer of a NT$1.69 billion (US$56 million) in advance payment bonds from scandal-hit Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co. (慶富造船) to the national treasury, reports said Wednesday.
Ching Fu defaulted on a NT$20.5 billion (US$679 million) syndicated loan from state banks for a NT$35.8 billion (US$1.18 billion) contract to build six minesweepers for the Navy.
The affair has since ballooned into a major defense scandal, triggering questions about why a company as small as Ching Fu was allowed to bid for such a major Navy contract, and whether the administration of then-President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was involved in any illegal pressure.
The Navy seized an earlier sum of NT$700 million (US$23 million) late last month.