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Man to appeal court order to return US$28.9m diplomatic funds to Taiwan

Man to appeal court order to return US$28.9m diplomatic funds to Taiwan

A Taiwanese-American man who evaded an arrest warrant in 2008 in connection with the embezzlement of US$28.9 million in Taiwan diplomatic funds will appeal against a Singapore High Court ruling that ordered him to return the money, his attorney said yesterday.
The man, Ching Chi Ju, will file an appeal with the Singapore Supreme Court against the ruling and the high court has already agreed to let him pay his legal fees with money in his bank accounts frozened by the court, his attorney Lawrence Lee confirmed.
The court gave approval for Ching to withdraw up to 2,000 Singapore dollars (US$1,426) per day from the bank accounts for living expenses, according to Lee.
In a sentence rendered on May 10, the Singapore High Court granted Taiwan's request for Ching and the man he allegedly helped to embezzle the funds, Wu Shih-tsai, to return the US$29.8 million in question to the Taiwan government.
In 2008, a warrant was issued for Ching's arrest and Wu was sentenced to prison in connection with a scheme in which they allegedly bilked the Taiwan foreign ministry of US$29.8 million that was entrusted to them in 2006 to help Taiwan forge ties with Papua New Guinea.
It was disclosed that the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had wired the funds in 2006 to a joint bank account in Singapore held by the two men, but the Papua New Guinea deal never came though and the men were accused of stealing the money.
Wu was arrested in Taiwan in 2008 and was sentenced to a prison term of two years and four months, which he is still serving.
Ching went into hiding in the United States before the Taiwan authorities could arrest him and did not appear in court in Singapore where the case on the return of the funds was heard.


Updated : 2021-08-05 09:51 GMT+08:00