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July 24, 2017

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Major errors in civilian intrusion case: MND

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday admitted to major errors in dealing with an intrusion case after a civilian was found trespassing into a MND headquarters compound in downtown Taipei on Tuesday.

According to the military, the woman surnamed Liang (梁) took an MND shuttle bus to enter the MND headquarters' Chung Ai compound (忠愛營區) located near the Presidential Office building at around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The woman claimed to be a MND employee and boarded the shuttle bus. The driver of the bus did not check her ID.

She was later found wandering around on the third floor of a building in the compound by a soldier standing guard at the office of Defense Minister Yen Ming (嚴明). Without proper ID or a security pass, she was asked to leave the building, the military said.

Commenting on the incident, which is seen as a major security breach in the supposedly highly guarded MND headquarters, General Po Hung-hui (柏鴻輝) of the MND said yesterday that military personnel involved in the incident made major errors that deserve a full-scale review and punishment.

First of all, the driver of the shuttle bus, a sergeant surnamed Tang (唐), failed to follow regulations in not checking Liang's ID before letting her board the bus.

The guards at the front entrance of the MND headquarters compound also failed to check the IDs of all those who boarded the bus and still let them enter the compound.

Thirdly, after finding the trespassing women in the compound, instead of sending her to police authorities, military personnel simply let her go after brief questioning, Po said.

  Military personnel who questioned Liang said that during questioning the woman displayed signs of mental instability. They decided to release her because they thought she did not pose a threat to the MND's security, according to Po.

Suspect Should Have Been Turned Over to Police

Citing security concerns, Po said that civilians who trespassed into military facilities should be turned over to police for further questioning.

In a previous trespassing incident from June, 2009, an intruder was sent to nearby Zhongzeng First Predict, he said.

The evidence shows that MND personnel made major errors in dealing with a serious security incident, Po said.

The military is currently launching a probe concerning the intrusion and conducting reviews to beef up security at the MND's headquarters, he added.

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