Unauthorized woman entered defense ministry
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-07 02:48 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A woman posing as a Ministry of National Defense employee succeeded in reaching the floor of the building where Defense Minister Yen Ming’s office was situated, officials said Wednesday.

Responding to questions from lawmakers, Defense Vice Minister Andrew Hsia described the incident as a “serious breach of security.”

The woman, surnamed Liang, approached the driver of a military vehicle around 5 p.m. Tuesday with the request to drive her to the ministry because her feet hurt. She claimed to be a ministry employee, officials said.

The driver took her inside the ministry headquarters without checking her identity, but a military police officer on guard duty noticed she was not wearing a visitor’s badge. He alerted his superiors, who later found the woman had a history of mental problems and was not a ministry employee.

She managed to move up to the third floor of the building, where Yen’s office was located, before she was apprehended, Hsia said. It was not clear whether the minister was present at the time. Answering a question from Democratic Progressive Party legislator Hsiao Bikhim, he confirmed that Liang was a Taiwanese citizen, rejecting suspicions she might have been spying for China, reports said.

The ministry reportedly called a meeting at 8:50 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the case, with the request that the incident should be kept confidential. However, People First Party lawmaker Chen Yi-jie received inside information and published it in a news release.

The military driver who brought the woman inside the ministry would be disciplined, while drivers and other staff would be reminded of security procedures and identity checks, a spokesman said. The military policeman who discovered Liang would receive a reward, he added.

Chen said Liang had claimed to be the minister’s wife. If she had been a spy, she could have taken away valuable confidential information, the lawmaker said.

The defense ministry headquarters is located right across the street behind the Presidential Office Building.

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