Wed, Jul 08, 2009 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmaker denies lobbying for fishermen

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) yesterday rebutted media speculation that she had illegally lobbied Taipei County coastal patrols in a smuggling investigation.

Kuo told reporters at the legislature that she had expressed “concern” to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) after complaints from fishermen at Wanli Fishing Port (萬里漁港) in Taipei County that the officials had given them a hard time.

“The fishermen said they were very nervous and felt that the CGA had treated them like criminals, examining everything on their fishing boats, including bottled mineral water and cold medicine,” Kuo said.

Kuo said she only approached Ho Hsiang-tai (賀湘臺), director-general of the Coastal Patrol Directorate General, to gain a better understanding of the CGA’s measures.

Kuo said she did not interfere in the coastal patrol’s smuggling investigation.

“None of the officials at the CGA, be it the minister or the CGA’s legislative liaison, received any phone call from me,” Kuo said.

Kuo made the remarks after Keelung prosecutors on Monday indicted Chiang Hsin-kuang (蔣新光), chief of the Intelligence Division of the Coastal Patrol Directorate General, for corruption.

The indictment said Chiang had released three fishing boats owned by a family surnamed Lin, which had smuggled fish in April and May last year.

The indictment said Ho had instructed Chiang and 17 other patrol guards to inspect the boats, but Kuo questioned Ho regarding the measures on April 16 last year after she received a complaint from the Lin family.

Ho convened a meeting afterwards and mentioned the legislator’s concerns, the indictment said, quoting Chiang as saying that he had cut the Lin family some slack to repay Kuo for helping push through the Organic Act of the Coastal Patrol Directorate General (海岸巡防總局組織法).

Chiang allegedly failed to block three of the family’s fishing boats from unloading their frozen catches, which should have been quarantined on April 19 and April 21 and May 21 last year.

Kuo said yesterday that she felt “wronged,” adding that she should not be held responsible for the misconduct of the coastal patrol.

“The indictment by the Keelung Prosecutors’ Office did not mention any evidence that I was involved in illegal lobbying,” she said.

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