TAIPEI - Taiwanese prosecutors on Wednesday indicted five former employees of technology giant Foxconn, including senior managers, for allegedly soliciting Tw$160 million (US$5.3 million) in kickbacks from suppliers.
The development marks the latest setback for the world's largest maker of electronic components, which has come under the spotlight over labor unrest, a spate of employee suicides and the use of underage interns at its Chinese plants in recent years.
Liao Wan-cheng and Teng Chih-hsien, who were senior managers at a Foxconn procurement unit, were charged with breach of trust for accepting kickbacks from 10 suppliers in exchange for clearing quality checks and buying their equipment, prosecutors said.
A middleman was also charged along with three other former employees after investigators launched island-wide raids earlier this year to search residences and offices of some suppliers.
The allegations surfaced after Taiwanese media reported last year that Teng had been detained by police in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen for allegedly taking bribes from suppliers.
Foxconn said at that time it was reviewing its acquisition procedures and the integrity of managers, and that its operations in China had not been affected.
Foxconn has said that the alleged violations were limited to the procurement of consumables and accessory equipment, and that the company alerted the authorities in both Taiwan and China following an internal audit.
Foxconn said in a statement Wednesday that it plans to seek compensation from the suppliers involved in the case and called for the accused to be "severely punished according to the law."
The statement did not name the suppliers involved.
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai (IW 1000/24) in Taiwan, is the world's largest maker of computer components and employs about one million workers at its factories across China. It assembles products for top international brands such as Apple (IW 500/4), Sony (IW 1000/48) and Nokia (IW 1000/109).
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014