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Ex-Singapore Official Charged Over Expenses Claims

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Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s former Chief of Protocol at the Foreign Affairs Ministry was charged with 60 counts of cheating for inflating expense claims over four years.

Lim Cheng Hoe inflated his claims by a total of S$88,997 ($71,000) from Feb. 3, 2008 to May 18, 2012, according to charge sheets presented in a Singapore court today. Each charge carries a jail term of as much as 10 years and a fine.

The charges come in the wake of Singapore’s decision to replace the head of its anti-corruption agency to help maintain trust after an assistant director was charged in a separate case of misappropriation. The city vowed to take “strong measures” to tighten processes after Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the public is concerned given the number of high-profile cases recently.

Lim, 60, boosted the quantity of pineapple tarts and wines that were bought and used for official trips and visits in filing his expense claims, according to the charges. He also allegedly made claims for items that he didn’t buy.

Lim’s lawyer asked for time to make representations. The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.

The criminal case is Public Prosecutor v Lim Cheng Hoe, DAC039357-039416/2013. Singapore Subordinate Courts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Tan in Singapore at atan17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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