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China Airlines ex-employee implicated in diabolo instructor spy case

06/09/2024 06:32 PM
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A China Airlines Airbus A350-900 jet chartered for former President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to Eswatini during her time in office in April 2018. CBA file photo
A China Airlines Airbus A350-900 jet chartered for former President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to Eswatini during her time in office in April 2018. CBA file photo

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) An ongoing espionage case involving a diabolo instructor recently implicated an ex-China Airlines (CAL) employee in leaking the details of presidential trip itineraries among other sensitive information, a prosecutor said Sunday.

During the investigation into Republic of China Diabolo Federation board member Lu Chi-hsien (魯紀賢) and nine other individuals, prosecutors discovered the involvement of a former CAL dispatcher, the source told CNA.

The ex-CAL employee is believed to have leaked confidential information to Lu from February to April last year, including the itineraries of former President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) overseas visits, and lists of "important visitors" arriving in Taiwan.

In addition, the former employee allegedly provided Lu with documents related to weapons shipments and tarmac information, the source said, citing findings from the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

In response, CAL said it has cooperated with national security and judicial authorities to conduct the investigation.

The employee has already been dismissed, the country's flag carrier said, stressing that it "took the matter seriously and has reviewed its operational procedures." The individual has since been questioned by prosecutors.

Lu Chi-hsien (center, in blue jacket). CNA file photo
Lu Chi-hsien (center, in blue jacket). CNA file photo

Lu was indicted last year on charges of breaking the National Security Act by conducting a NT$5.7 million (US$179,000) Chinese espionage operation targeting Taiwanese military personnel.

Prosecutors revealed that Lu was enlisted by China in 2020 during his pursuit of commercial opportunities in the country, with the task of procuring confidential information from active-duty and retired Taiwanese military personnel.

Prosecutors claimed that starting in 2022, Lu and his associates purportedly paid tens of thousands of dollars to seven military officers for access to meeting reports and training documents, and attempted without success to recruit an additional 11 officers.

(By Lin Chang-shun, Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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