Ex-chief protocol officer at MFA charged with making false expense claims

Lim Cheng Hoe, ex-chief protocol officer, was charged on Thursday with 60 counts of cheating by submitting false claims of amounting about $87,000. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ONG CHIN KAI
Lim Cheng Hoe, ex-chief protocol officer, was charged on Thursday with 60 counts of cheating by submitting false claims of amounting about $87,000. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ONG CHIN KAI

The former chief of protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) was charged on Thursday with 60 counts of cheating by submitting false claims amounting about $87,000.

Lim Cheng Hoe is alleged to have deceived the ministry by claiming expenses incurred during some of his trips abroad. The alleged offences took place over a four-year period from 2008 to last year.

The 60-year-old, who has been suspended from duty, was protocol chief for about 10 years. He headed the ministry's section responsible for organising ministerial and presidential trips overseas, and was the go-to guy on diplomatic protocol.

The claims he had allegedly submitted ranged from $280 to $5,080. Three of the 60 charges accused him of cheating MFA into consenting that he retained $420, $4,000 and $490 in 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Lim's lawyer Philip Fong asked for the case to be adjourned for him to make representations. His police bail of $100,000 has been extended and a pre-trial conference has been set for Oct 25.