Fraud probe at Netherlands' Bangkok embassy

27th August 2010, Comments 0 comments


The Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry is investigating allegations of fraud at its Bangkok embassy.

Senior officers, including the Dutch ambassador, have been accused of tampering with passport applications and naturalisation requests, according to Dutch daily on Friday. Other allegations were made by Dutch citizens appealing for help at the Bangkok embassy after the sudden death of a family member; they said they were treated in an appalling manner by Dutch consular staff.

Earlier this year a major money siphoning operation was uncovered at the embassy. Over a period of 14 months a Thai accountant, a longtime employee of the embassy, stole 350,000 euros of Dutch money. He was sentenced to 28 years in jail. The accountant's Dutch superior, however, was let off with a reprimand and was transferred to a position at the Foreign Ministry in The Hague, to the dismay of Bangkok embassy personnel. They said that the diplomat must have friends in high places, pointing out that the diplomat not only failed to spot the accountant's theft, but was also held responsible for another case of fraud during his earlier posting at the Netherlands' embassy in Sri Lanka.

A spokesman for the embassy staff told that diplomatic personnel is losing confidence in Ambassador Van den Hout. Attempts to bring financial irregularities to the ambassor's attention failed to change anything, embassy employee Dirk-Jan van Beek told the paper.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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