Taiwan appoints minister of veterans affairs as new intelligence agency chief

Chiu Kuo-cheng graduated from the U.S. Army War College

New NSB Director General Chiu Kuo-cheng.

New NSB Director General Chiu Kuo-cheng. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Minister of Veterans Affairs Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) is the new director general of the main intelligence agency, the National Security Bureau (NSB), following the resignation of his predecessor to take responsibility for a cigarette smuggling scandal, the Presidential Office announced Wednesday (July 24).

The previous chief, Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹), resigned as two NSB agents were detained for having tried to smuggle 9,800 cartons of cigarettes into Taiwan using President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) return from her foreign trip last Monday (July 22) as cover.

Just like Peng, Chiu, 66, is a retired general. He studied in the United States and later served as president of the National Defense University and as Chief of the General Staff, the Central News Agency reported.

The general was also the first Taiwanese citizen to be inducted into the International Fellows Hall of Fame at the U.S. Army War College, last year.

The investigation into the smuggling scandal was still continuing meanwhile, with the two suspects reportedly producing a list of about 50 names of customers for their cigarettes. Prosecutors were also looking at the possible role of officials at China Airlines, the NSB and the National Security Council in the affair.