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Three diplomats accused of wrongdoing under investigation: MOFA

07/10/2024 05:45 PM
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei. CNA file photo
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 10 (CNA) Three diplomats are under investigation following local media reports accusing them of separate acts of misconduct while in office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Wednesday.

Local Chinese-language Mirror Magazine on Wednesday accused Taiwan's representative to Fiji Paul Chen (陳盈連), Taiwan's representative to the World Trade Organization Lo Chang-fa (羅昌發) and a section chief at Taiwan's representative in the United States, Wei Yue-han (魏月涵), of separate acts of wrongdoing including misusing public funds and inappropriately ordering subordinates to complete personal tasks.

Chen was accused of spending NT$600,000 (US$18,450) from a diplomatic budget on 88 items, including Apple products, Hello Kitty dolls, Starbucks gift items, and bathroom scales for personal use, during his diplomatic posting in Guam between 2020-2022.

An inventory check of his official residence in Guam before his reassignment to Fiji also revealed that as many as 95 items were missing. Chen claimed that flooding caused by a typhoon accounted for the missing items, according to a whistle-blower cited in the magazine's report.

In addition, Lo allegedly ordered an employee use his government vehicle to transport garbage from his personal residence to the office during work hours so the diplomat could save on personal cleaning expenses, according to the magazine.

Lo's wife, Huang Yu-hua (黃鈺華), was also accused of assigning Lo's subordinates non-official tasks such as supervising renovation work at the diplomat's official residence, according to the magazine.

Wei was separately accused of unfairly assigning work to subordinates, the Mirror Magazine said.

In response to the allegations, MOFA said it has launched separate investigations into the three diplomats.

The ministry also announced that Chen will return to Taiwan soon for investigation by the Agency Against Corruption under the Ministry of Justice.

Last month, Mirror Magazine published reports alleging that Taiwan's representative to the U.S. Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) had spent around NT$8 million refurbishing his official residence since he took up the post in December 2023.

MOFA's investigation found that the renovation work had adhered to relevant regulations and no irregularities were identified.

(By Yang Yao-ju and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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