Taiwan president’s bodyguard smuggling scam implicates 76: spy agency

Yahoo News
Date: August 1, 2019

More than 70 members of Taiwan's presidential security detail have been swept up in a cigarette

Taiwan’s spy chief Chiu Kuo-cheng delivered a highly unusual press conference on Friday (AFP Photo/Sam YEH)

smuggling scandal, the island's spy agency announced Friday, as its chief took the unusual step of appearing in public to vow a crackdown.

The scandal first erupted last month when the customs administration said that an agent within President Tsai Ing-wen's entourage tried to bring in 9,800 cigarette cartons as he returned from an official trip accompanying the island's leader to the Caribbean.

The agent pre-ordered the cigarettes online in Taiwan, stored them at an airport warehouse, and then planned to smuggle them past customs onto government vehicles as Tsai's motorcade left, authorities said.

It soon emerged that the scam was far from a one-off after China Airlines released figures showing huge amounts of duty-free cigarettes were routinely ordered during presidential visits, both for Tsai and her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou's trips abroad.    [FULL  STORY]

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