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Two impeached for Marine Corps weapon replaced with fake

02/06/2024 09:38 PM
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Marine Corps personnel take part in a military exercise in this CNA file photo
Marine Corps personnel take part in a military exercise in this CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) The Control Yuan on Tuesday impeached two Marine Corps officers for their suspected involvement in a case in which a handgun believed to have been stolen from an armory in Pingtung in 2022 was allegedly replaced with a model gun.

The .45 caliber handgun is believed to have been stolen during preparations from Feb. 7 to March 4 for a military refresher training session scheduled to take place over the following 14 days at a Marine Corps recruit training center in Longquan Pingtung, three Control Yuan members investigating the case said in a statement Tuesday.

The commanding officer of the Marine Corps Recruit Training Center Col. Pan Tong-shen (潘東昇) was impeached because even after being informed a .45 caliber handgun belonging to the 2nd battalion at the center was missing, he did not report the matter within 30 minutes to the Ministry of National Defense as required by related regulations, according to the statement.

In order to avoid being held responsible for the missing weapon, Pan is accused of tacitly allowing then battalion commander Lin Chia-wei (林家葳) and four company commanders to raise funds to purchase a simulation model gun and then stored it in the armory.

Even after the new battalion commander discovered something was wrong with the gun during the inventory handover and reported it to Pan, he only recorded the gun as malfunctioning and continued to conceal the loss of the original weapon.

The Control Yuan members said that Pan violated the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces regarding making false military orders, documents, or other statements knowing them to be false, as well as regulations on making false entries in a public document and rules governing national ordnance, ammunition and explosive materials management.

Lin and four company commanders stand accused of conspiring to purchase a model gun and storing it in the armory in place of the missing .45-caliber handgun.

As part of the cover-up, the accused etched the same serial number into the air gun as the lost weapon, which has not been found, according to the statement.

(By Chen Chun-hua and Evelyn Kao)

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