Fri, Apr 24, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Airport police probe alleged collusion of cop and smuggler

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport police have launched a probe into allegations that a security officer provided cover for a traveler who smuggled NT$2 billion (US$59.17 million) in gold and foreign currency out of Taiwan over a three-year period.

Airport police authorities said they were investigating a security officer surnamed Wu (吳) and a traveler identified as Pu (蒲).

The case broke last week when airport police officers caught Pu as he was attempting to fly out of Taiwan with more than 10kg in gold bars in his luggage.

In a long-term tracking operation, airport police discovered that Pu had been traveling to Hong Kong three or four times a week for the past three years.

They found that all of Pu’s flights to Hong Kong coincided with Wu’s shifts at the airport and the police suspect that Wu and others may have been in cahoots with Pu for a long time.

On every trip to Hong Kong, Pu carried more than NT$30 million in gold and foreign currency, which he sometimes declared and sometimes did not, the police said. Video footage from the airport’s X-ray machines showed that even when Pu declared the gold or foreign currency he was carrying, Wu did not comprehensively check the declared items.

It was obvious that Pu was not declaring all the valuables and money he was carrying, the police said.

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