Ching Fu Shipbuilding, Taiwan’s largest private shipyard, has been taken over by creditor banks due to a financial crisis, following a loan fraud exposed at the shipyard in August.
Kaohsiung-based Ching Fu Shipbuilding, owned by Taiwan’s Wee Lee International Group, was the first private yard in Taiwan to build commercial ships including tankers and multipurpose vessels. In recent years, the shipyard switched its business to fishing vessels and navy ships.
In August, Chen Ching-nan, president of Ching Fu Shipbuilding was found to have used a fake navy ship contract to secure loans of TWD15bn ($498m) in total from a consortium of Taiwanese banks from 2014 to 2016.
According to prosecutors, the shipyard also set up a number of overseas shell companies for money laundering. Several senior officials of the shipyard have since been arrested.
Currently the creditor banks have taken over the financial management of Ching Fu Shipbuilding in efforts to maintain the business operations and avoid bankruptcy at the shipyard.