Farglory Chairman Held on Suspicions of Evidence Tampering

Farglory Land Development Co.’s Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung was taken into custody after a Taiwan court said there was suspicions of evidence tampering in an ongoing bribery probe against him.

Chao was detained after Taiwan’s High Court today upheld an earlier decision to revoke his bail. In its decision, Taiwan’s High Court cited a June 1 incident in which Farglory employees delivered documents to a shredding facility in Taoyuan county as cause to suspect tampering.

Police arrested Chao last week on allegations of bribing an official for the right to develop a residential site in northern Taiwan. Prosecutors accused Chao of paying NT$16 million ($533,000) in bribes to a then-Taoyuan County deputy magistrate in exchange for the rights, court documents show.

The June 1 delivery of documents to the facility was part of routine file management, company officer Janice Hsiao said by phone today, adding that Farglory has appointed Chao’s eldest son as Acting Chairman and operations are normal. Shares tumbled by the 7 percent daily limit at the close of trading in Taipei, the biggest decline in 22 months.

The stock has fallen 7.9 percent so far this year as President Ma Ying-jeou’s administration pledged to curb the rising cost of homes. Taiwan’s finance minister said last week momentum for appreciation in the island’s property market has weakened and that tax changes on ownership may be introduced early next year.

The benchmark Taiex index closed at 9,123.46, a 0.5 percent gain, in Taipei trading.

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