TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s cigarette smuggling scandal continues to grab media attention and a legislator lambasted the government on Wednesday (Sept. 25) for conniving with China Airlines, while failing to confiscate the illegally-imported products.
Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) of the New Power Party (NPP), lashed out in a Facebook post against China Airlines (CAL) and China Pacific Catering Services for lying about the whereabouts of the cigarettes purchased by their respective employees. They have been implicated in the cigarette smuggling case that took advantage of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) return from a diplomatic trip to the Caribbean in July.
Management of the two companies claimed the products had been impounded and stored in a warehouse. It turned out, however, the cigarettes were being stashed in a CAL facility and a residential house in Taoyuan on Monday (Sept. 24), according to Huang.
At least nine cartons of the cigarettes have been consumed, said Huang, adding that a China Pacific Catering Services staffer told him “the cigarettes had been transported away by a CAL member on the morning of July 22.” Huang visited the warehouse where the smuggled products were supposed to be kept while the investigation is ongoing, on Monday.
Huang blasted the management of the two companies for making statements full of lies. He also called on the Tsai government to make good on its promise of launching a thorough investigation into the case and taking to task those to blame for the scandal.