The Control Yuan yesterday impeached eight former customs officials and 16 other staff members allegedly involved in one of the biggest corruption cases ever to involve the nation’s custom officials.
Control Yuan member Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) said the impeachment was unprecedented in terms of the number of officials impeached at the same time.
Among the eight former officials were deputy head of the Directorate-General of Customs Lu Tsai-yih (呂財益) — the highest-ranking official, former Keelung Customs Office director Tsai Chiu-chi (蔡秋吉) and former director of the Department of Valuation at the Directorate-General of Customs Shih Chung-mei (史中美).
The eight ex-officials, along with 16 others, were indicted by prosecutors in December on charges that they had been taking bribes from customs brokers and traders for two years, in exchange for their assistance in importing banned products and evading tariffs.
Control Yuan members found that Lu, Tsai and Shih were also allegedly involved in various irregularities like reshuffling personnel, leaking internal documents or telling subordinates to do certain things to help those who bribed them.
The trio claimed innocence when they were questioned by Control Yuan members, but the Control Yuan members had found that Chang Sheng-tai (張勝泰) acted as middleman and worked hand in glove with the trio to negotiate with traders and brokers, Huang said.
The eight officials are scheduled to be referred to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission at the Judicial Yuan for punishment.