Presidential office vows legal action in Taiwan cigarette smuggling scandal

Office of the President lambasts KMT caucus for spreading disinformation and in return threatens lawsuit

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (CNA photo)

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Office of the President announced on Thursday (Aug. 22) it would lodge a lawsuit against the legislative caucus of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and some media outlets for spreading misinformation about the cigarette smuggling scandal.

The KMT caucus held a press conference on Thursday morning, accusing top presidential aides and officials of involvement in the scandal, reported CNA. Intelligence officials are alleged to have tried to smuggle in a considerable number of cigarette cartons upon President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) return from a trip to the Caribbean.

The KMT caucus also revealed a list of “cigarette smokers” working at the Presidential Office, and information about where they had been spotted smoking, wrote China Times. In response, presidential spokesman Chang Chun-han (張惇涵) rebutted the accusations and vowed legal action, wrote CNA.

Chang added the “smoker list” contained inaccurate information and slammed the KMT for linking smokers with the scandal. It also refuted allegations that “those on the list have received cigarettes as presents from the intelligence officials involved in the case” as part of a smear campaign, wrote CNA.

Meanwhile, an administrative investigation has concluded that no top officials at the Presidential Office were involved in the scandal. Reports of the investigation will be tendered to prosecutors for further investigation.