Suspended MFA protocol chief indicates will plead guilty to cheating
- POSTED: 09 Jan 2014 11:33
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Suspended chief of protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Lim Cheng Hoe has indicated he will plead guilty to cheating the government, following a pre-trial conference on Thursday between the prosecution and defence.
SINGAPORE: Suspended chief of protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Lim Cheng Hoe has indicated he will plead guilty to cheating the government, following a pre-trial conference on Thursday between the prosecution and defence.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelvin Kow said a date for Lim's plea to be taken has been fixed for February 17, and lawyers will meet again on January 29.
Lim, 60, was charged in court last October with cheating the government of nearly S$89,000.
He faces 60 counts of cheating -- 56 counts of cheating the ministry and four of cheating a government agency called Vital.Org.
Lim allegedly cheated by overstating expense claims for boxes of pineapple tarts and bottles of wine, which were bought as gifts for official trips and visits.
Between February 2008 and May 2012, he allegedly made claims for more than 10,000 boxes of pineapple tarts when only 2,200 boxes were used.
Lim is also accused of making claims for 248 bottles of wine, but used only 89.
For example, for an official trip in May 2012, he allegedly made claims for 10 bottles of wine valued at S$2,000, when he used only six bottles valued at S$1,200, and cheated the ministry of the difference.
Investigations into Lim by the Commercial Affairs Department began in June 2012.
Lim, who was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2009, has spent nearly 40 years at MFA, with 10 of those years as chief of protocol.