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Taiwan harbor worker reports cigarette smuggling to authorities despite bribe

Port employee turned down offer of NT$300,000 for his silence

Kaohsiung Harbor 

Kaohsiung Harbor  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A harbor worker in Kaohsiung turned down a NT$300,000 (US$10,700) bribe to look the other way when smuggled cigarettes arrived, and he reported the fact to the authorities, reports said Thursday (July 29).

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office charged two men for trying to smuggle cigarettes with a total value of NT$25 million into the country, UDN reported.

The plot dates back to August of last year, when the manager of a trading company imported a container full of cabbages from China and left it in a refrigerated area near a pier to be substituted with a container with smuggled cigarettes. However, a harbor worker named Chien (簡) stopped a truck involved in the plot due to suspicious movements around the pier.

The plotters offered him NT$300,000 to keep quiet, but instead, Chien reported his suspicions to the port authorities. Inside one of the containers, police found 435,000 packets of cigarettes that the group was preparing to move from the past customs and into Kaohsiung.

The manager of the trading company denied any knowledge of smuggling, saying he had been acting on behalf of another man, but as he was unable to provide any details about that person, he was also indicted on suspicion of violating the Tobacco and Alcohol Administration Act.