Taiwan Customs Chief Resigns In Graft Scandal

Posted July 18th, 2011 at 8:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Taiwan's customs chief has resigned amid mounting criticism in the wake of a smuggling scandal involving government officials.

Wu Ai-kuo resigned from his position Monday.

Taiwan has been shaken by the arrest of Wu's deputy Lu Tsai-yi and several other civil servants on suspicion of taking bribes from businessmen and smugglers in return for turning a blind eye to illegal imports.

The China Post newspaper reported Tuesday that finance ministry official Hwang Ding-Fang will take over Wu's duties until the next head of the customs is found. The newspaper quotes Hwang as saying he hopes to increase technology support in the customs to make up for a manpower shortage. He also plans to institute strict rewards and punishment systems to improve morale within the customs service.

Taiwan has been plagued by corruption scandals involving high-ranking officials. Former President Lee Teng-hui, who served three terms until 2000, was indicted earlier this month on charges of embezzling close to $8 million from government funds. His successor Chen Shui-bian is serving a lengthy prison term for corruption.