Taipei, May 2 (CNA) The Finance Ministry was censured by the Control Yuan Wednesday for lax discipline among certain of the nation's customs offices, which fall under the authority of the ministry.
The customs agencies cited by the Control Yuan were the Keelung Customs Office and the Directorate General of Customs.
An investigation was launched last December after Keelung customs officials were reported to have received bribes from brokers and traders seeking to import banned goods and evade tariffs.
The investigations led to the impeachment of eight customs officials in early April, including the former deputy director of the Directorate-General of Customs, Lu Tsai-yih, former Keelung Customs Office Director Tsai Chiu-chi and Shih Chung-mei, a former director of the Department of Valuation at the Directorate-General of Customs.
In addition, the inspectors found that many high-ranking customs officials had accepted expensive gifts from traders and customs brokers.
The traders and brokers were also in the habit of wining and dining customs officials, but the investigation found that the extent of the collaboration went even further to involve influence peddling, in which the brokers and traders used their relationships within the government to help customs officials gain promotions, the Control Yuan report said.
The practice of accepting gifts and entertainment from the traders and brokers was practiced throughout all levels of the Keelung Customs Office and the Directorate General of Customs, the report added.
(By Sofia Yeh and C.J. Lin)