Sat, Jan 11, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Official out on bail in alleged Vietnam visa bribery case

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

A diplomatic official who was questioned for allegedly demanding bribes for visas when he was posted in Vietnam was released on bail of NT$500,000 early yesterday morning.

Prosecutors have banned Hsiao Yu-wen (蕭裕文) from leaving the country.

He was flanked by television cameras as he arrived at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning on Thursday at midnight, and did not respond to questions about whether he had taken bribes.

Hsiao was reportedly accused of working in collusion with a broker agency in Vietnam headed by Taiwanese national Tsao Pao-lin (曹保麟) to approve Republic of China visas in exchange for US$3,000, of which US$1,000 went to Hsiao.

When the allegations first emerged earlier last year, Hsiao was transferred back to the ministry and given two major demerits by the ministry’s Evaluation Committee.

Tsao was arrested on Monday by Vietnamese police as he crossed the border from Laos to Vietnam because his passport was found to have expired in November last year. He was brought back to Taiwan on Wednesday.

Prosecutors on Thursday raided the residences of Hsiao and Tsao and subpoenaed both on suspicion of violating the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例).

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) yesterday dismissed a report in the Apple Daily saying that the ministry has tried to cover up Hsiao’s alleged irregularities.

The ministry last year sent an ethics team to Vietnam to look into the case in April, but found no evidence of wrongdoing.

However, in May, the ministry decided to submit the case to Agency Against Corruption for investigation, he said.

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