Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ex-coast guard sergeant convicted for smuggling

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A former Coast Guard Administration sergeant was yesterday convicted on corruption charges and his codefendants found guilty of various charges in connection with smuggling food products from China.

The Taichung District Court sentenced Chien Chang-hung (簡昌弘) to eight years and six months in prison, while his codefendants, including a ship’s captain surnamed Tsai (蔡), two alleged smugglers surnamed Chen (陳) and Lin (林), and other crew members were given sentences ranging from eight to 34 months.

Chien was convicted of taking bribes, helping shield the smuggling operation and contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例).

The verdict can be appealed.

Investigators said that Chien accepted a total of NT$60,000 in bribes, having been promised NT$30,000 for each successful smuggling operation.

Chien helped protect ships carrying mushrooms, betel nuts and other items, once in December 2016 and the second in May last year, by ordering coast guard personnel under his command to only perform visual inspections of the vessels’ decks after they docked at the Port of Taichung, investigators said.

He told them that there was no need for them to go below deck to inspect the cargo holds, investigators said.

However, according to the ruling, judicial agents received reports of the smuggling operation and raided the vessels, uncovering a total of 6 tonnes of contraband.

“Chien was paid by the government for his job as a coast guard supervisor, so he should have carried out his duties with integrity, prudence and respect for the law. However, he helped smugglers in their illegal activities, which damaged our nation’s marketing and supply of domestic agricultural products,” the court said in a statement.

Following his indictment last year, Chien was sacked from his job as a supervisor in the Third Coast Patrol Corps

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