Prosecutors have launched an investigation into alleged irregularities involving some of the National Security Bureau’s (NSB) foreign-based officials.
The Agency Against Corruption (AAC) has also stepped up investigations into foreign-based officials to prevent corruption, including illegal claims of subsidies for family members.
The crackdown came after the Chinese-language Next Magazine reported yesterday that some foreign-based NSB officials were suspected of making false claims to reimburse the living expenses of family members.
The magazine said. National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) failed to alert the bureau’s auditing officers about the problem or to ask the AAC to investigate.
Agency Against Corruption Deputy Director-General Chang Hung-mou (張宏謀) declined to confirm the report, saying he had “not yet received any information [on the investigations].”
In a press release, the NSB said it had found that some bureau officials had “over-claimed” funds “owing to misunderstanding of the relevant rules and regulations,” but that they have since returned the money.
The NSB denied allegations in the magazine’s report that there was “collective corruption” or “cover-ups” inside the bureau.
The NSB said it was cooperating fully with AAC agents in their investigations into the bureau’s incumbent and former officials.
If any one of them are found to have been involved in any irregularities, the NSB said, “they will be dealt with according to the law and no leniency or mercy will be shown to them.”
It also warned the media that if reporters disclose the identities of intelligence agents or damage their reputation, they could face lawsuits.
Chang said his agency has asked all government units to make sure none of their foreign-based officials have made false claims or claims in excess of actual spending.
Most government agencies with foreign-based staff do not have an accounts officer or anti-corruption agent in their overseas offices, leaving a loophole that can be exploited by personnel.