Pineapple tarts key evidence in court case

Pineapple tarts key evidence in court case
Lim Cheng Hoe, 60, allegedly made fake expense claims of almost $89,000 for pineapple tarts and wine.

Pineapple tarts, apparently a popular item the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stockpiles as gifts for the hosts of official trips overseas, has emerged as key evidence in the case against the ministry's former protocol chief.

Lim Cheng Hoe, 60, was charged on Thursday with 60 counts of cheating by submitting false claims to the MFA amounting to $88,997.

Court papers said that among the claims were reimbursements to Lim for 10,075 boxes of pineapple tarts and 248 bottles of wine over a fouryear period from 2008 to last year.

But of these, only 2,116 boxes of the confectionery and 89 bottles of wine were purchased and given away by the MFA, The Straits Times Online reported.

Lim, who has been suspended, was protocol chief for about 10 years. The claims he had allegedly submitted ranged from $280 to $5,080. His lawyer Philip Fong asked for the case to be adjourned for him to make representations.

Lim is out on a police bail of $100,000.

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