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June 29, 2017

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Diplomatic broker sent home after prison term

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan government yesterday deported a Singaporean national diplomatic broker back to Singapore after the man completed his jail term in the country.

Wu Shih-tsai (吳思材), one of the two diplomatic brokers involved in a controversial diplomatic fraud scandal in 2006, has finished his three years and eight months' prison term in Taiwan.

Escorted by Taiwan's immigration officials, Wu boarded a China Airlines plane at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport around 4 p.m. yesterday, heading back to his home country Singapore.

Wu was previously given six-year jail term for defrauding US$29.8 million from Taiwan's Foreign Ministry while seeking to forge official ties with Papua New Guinea in 2006.

Because of his good behavior in prison, his sentenced was later cut to three years and eight months.

Another suspect in the high-profile diplomatic fraud scandal Ching Chi-ju (金紀玖), a Taiwanese national, is still on the run and he is believed to be hiding in in the United States.

In 2006, Ching was appointed a special broker of the R.O.C., whose mission was to use the nearly US$30 million he had been given by the government to help Taiwan establish diplomatic ties with Papua New Guinea.

Instead of using the funds for their intended purpose, however, Ching, along with his accomplice Wu, transferred the funds to a personal account in Singapore.

The local government later filed a legal suit in Singapore in order to reclaim the funds.

On May 10, 2010, the High Court of Singapore ruled that Ching and Wu had to return the embezzled money to Taiwan. Wu later filed an appeal that was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Ching, who holds a U.S. passport, is reportedly living in Orange County, California.

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