Taipei, Prosecutors on Wednesday questioned 13 more National Security Bureau (NSB) officials as part of an expanded investigation into an attempted case of cigarette smuggling.
The move came after prosecutors questioned 67 NSB officials for alleged involvement in the case over the past two days.
Meanwhile that same day, Investigation Bureau officials questioned more than 10 China Airlines (CAL) employees who are in charge of offering pre-order services for duty free products, before referring them to prosecutors for further investigation.
The scandal allegedly involved an attempt to smuggle 9,800 cartons of cigarettes worth NT$6 million (US$191,418) into Taiwan under the cover of President Tsai Ing-wen's return from a trip to Taiwan's four diplomatic allies in the Caribbean on July 22.
Two NSB agents, Wu Tsung-hsien and Chang Heng-chia were taken into custody the following day.
Prosecutors have since expanded the scope of their investigation to find others who they believe have pre-ordered excessive amounts of duty free goods during Tsai's trip.
An investigation report released Tuesday by the Presidential Office showed that a total of 79 people, including presidential security aides, NSB agents and military police, have admitted to having pre-ordered 8,074 cartons of cigarettes. These include 52 presidential security aides who have allegedly pre-ordered 4,999 cartons and 25 NSB agents who have allegedly pre-ordered 2,625 cartons.
Meanwhile, three others, including Chang and two retired officials, allegedly pre-ordered 450 cartons, while eight unidentified groups have allegedly pre-ordered 1,262 cartons.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel