CAL removes 2 executives involved in smuggling scandal
Jul 26, 2019GeneralComments Off on CAL removes 2 executives involved in smuggling scandal
Taipei, China Airlines (CAL) on Friday removed two executives involved in a cigarette smuggling scandal from their current positions and put other employees under administrative investigation.
Senior Vice President Lo Yamei was transferred to executive assistant to the chairman, while Chiu Changhsin , vice president of the department responsible for dutyfree product sales, was reassigned as a senior specialist to the president.
CAL said Lo and Chiu were supervising the latest presidential overseas trip, which was used by National Security Bureau (NSB) officials as cover to allegedly smuggle 9,800 cartons of cigarettes, worth NT$6 million (US$191,418), into Taiwan on July 22.
Tsai flew a China Airlines flight on a 12day trip that took her to the United States and Taiwan's four Caribbean allies.
NSB security agents allegedly ordered the cigarettes from CAL's online dutyfree store July 8, three days before Tsai embarked on the trip, and they were put into storage at an airport warehouse owned by China Pacific Catering Services Ltd.
Shortly before Tsai's flight landed at Taoyuan International Airport on July 22, the cigarettes were removed and loaded onto five government vehicles, which later attempted to leave the airport as part of Tsai's motorcade.
Acting on a tipoff, customs officers intercepted the vehicles in the airport's rapid clearance lane at 1:25 p.m.
China Airlines has come under harsh criticism for allowing the preorder of over NT$6 million in duty free cigarettes when only one carton per passenger is allowed in.
The airline said it will conduct administrative investigations into other employees if they remain CAL workers, including Lo and Chu's predecessors, who have taken charge of similar presidential trips in the past.
For those who have supervised presidential flights but are no longer with CAL, including former Chairman Ho Nuanhsuan and former President Samuel Lin related information will be handed to prosecutors, the carrier said.
Also on Friday, prosecutors investigated related CAL units, such as Chiu's department and China Pacific Catering Services Ltd. an affiliate of CAL as well as questioned NSB agent Wu Tsunghsien who is being detained for his alleged involvement in the case.
Prosecutors want to compare his testimony with a CAL staffer whom they already questioned the previous day.