Date
19 October 2017
A Cathay Pacific ground employee had 20 hairy crabs cooked in order to pass customs inspection. Cathay faces a fine if any regulations have been breached. Photo: Bloomberg, HKEJ
A Cathay Pacific ground employee had 20 hairy crabs cooked in order to pass customs inspection. Cathay faces a fine if any regulations have been breached. Photo: Bloomberg, HKEJ

Cathay to punish Taiwan ground staff for hairy crab incident

A Cathay Pacific Airways ground staff in Taiwan’s Taoyuan airport is facing disciplinary action after helping a high-flyer get a box of hairy crabs through customs.

The employee, surnamed Shih, had the crabs cooked to get around regulations and satisfy the Marco Polo Club Diamond card holder, Apple Daily reports.

But a passenger who had become aware of the back-and-forth that followed was not impressed and complained to Apple Daily.

Taiwan’s Aviation Police Bureau is investigating the incident.

It began when the passenger, who was arriving from Hong Kong, tried to get 20 live hairy crabs through Taiwan customs and was denied permission unless these were cooked.

Shih went out of his way to help, first asking the Cathay VIP lounge restaurant to cook them only to be told the job is outsourced.

The lounge is located just outside the restricted baggage claim area.

Undeterred, Shih got an airport restaurant to do the job and it took almost an hour to finish cooking the crabs.

Shih then accompanied the man back to the restricted area and the shipment successfully passed customs inspection, according to Apple Daily.

Cathay confirmed the report on Sunday.

Aviation police said the airline is liable to a fine if any regulations were breached.

A Marco Polo Diamond Card holder is someone who has taken at least nine first-class round-trip transpacific flights in one year. 

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TL/AC/RA

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