Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - Page 1 News List

MOFA suspends former envoy, probe continues

‘IRREGULARITIES’:The ministry has referred the probe into allegations of misconduct by Victor Chin to the Control Yuan and the anti-corruption agency

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Former representative to Fiji Victor Chin (秦日新) was suspended from his duties yesterday as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred the results of its internal probe into alleged misconduct to judicial agencies for investigation, the ministry said.

Ministry spokesman James Chang (章計平) declined to comment on the results of the internal investigation, saying the decision to suspend Chin was made based on the “gravity” of the allegations of misconduct.

In a press release, the ministry announced that it had referred Chin’s case to the Agency Against Corruption and the Control Yuan.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily published what it claims are parts of the results of the investigation.

Last week, the government approved Chin’s resignation as representative to Fiji after it was revealed that the ministry had allowed him to stay in Taiwan for three weeks to cooperate with the ministry’s investigation into various allegations against him. Without attending to any official duties, he still drew a diplomat’s salary amounting to twice that of a senior government official, the paper said.

Chin stayed on as a member of the ministry’s staff in Taipei until he was suspended from his duties yesterday.

The Apple Daily reported that the ministry had found evidence to disprove Chin’s claims of innocence regarding the allegations against him, including that he had an affair with a woman who worked at the Japanese embassy in Fiji and that he had used public money to cover the expenses of their dates and to buy her a pearl necklace, as well as illegally claim dependent benefits and an education allowance for his child.

Various named sources from staffers at the country’s representative office in Fiji and Taiwanese businesspeople based in Fiji attested to the allegations regarding the relationship between the married Chin and the Japanese female employee, the paper said. The ministry also found that Chin had lied to cover up the fact that he made a four-day transit stop in Japan on his way back to Fiji in May to meet the Japanese woman.

The ministry found that flight tickets from Taipei to either South Korea or Australia were still available at the time, contrary to the claim made by Chin at a press conference on June 29, the paper said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang was quoted in a statement as saying that he deeply regretted the alleged corruption and he demanded that ministry officials in Taiwan and abroad abide by the law and exercise self-discipline to maintain the ministry’s integrity.

Agency Against Corruption spokesman Chang Hung-mo (張宏謀) yesterday said the agency had received the report from the ministry and had opened an investigation into the case.

If the evidence against Chin is sufficient, the agency would send the case to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, asking that Chin be indicted, he said.

Additional reporting by Rich Chang

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