A Taipei court on Saturday approved a request for the detention of Taiwan real estate billionaire Chao Teng-hsiung, the official Central News Agency reported.

The Taipei District Court backed the request by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office in connection with Chao’s alleged role in bribery and embezzlement.  The court said that there is sufficient suspicion that Chao could destroy, forge, or alter evidence and also conspire with co-offenders or witnesses in the case, CNA said.

Chao, who controls Farglory Land Development and its main affiliated companies, ranked No. 29 on the Forbes Taiwan Rich List released on Thursday with an estimated fortune worth $1.48 billion. The company’s Taiwan-traded shares dropped 6.7% on Friday to close at a three-and-a-half month low of NT$39.

Chao was allegedly involved in the embezzlement of funds from Farglory Life Insurance in 2007 and 2008, CNA said. He has also been accused of bribing officials of the New Taipei City government in 2013 to facilitate the rezoning of a former coal mine in Tucheng and Xinzhuang of New Taipei, the agency reported.

The detention order followed a raid on offices and residences in connection with the Farglory case in Taipei and New Taipei. Law enforcement officials summoned 66 people including Chao and about 30 Farglory employees for questioning, CNA said.

Farglory said it will file a petition with the court against the detention ruling after it receives a court document and will work with prosecutors in the case, CNA reported.  New Taipei city councilor Chou Sheng-kao has also been detained in the investigation, CNA said.

Chao’s son Frank took over as Farglory Land chairman in 2014 amid an earlier scandal involving the company.
Source: Forbes