13 May 2008

PNG officials deny receiving Taiwan aid cash

3:46 pm on 13 May 2008

Two senior Papua New Guinea government officials who admitted meeting two middlemen involved in Taiwan's 30 million US dollar diplomatic cash scandal say no money changed hands.

The disappearance of the money, intended for PNG as development aid, has led to the resignations of three senior Taiwanese figures, including Vice Premier Chiou I-jen.

According to reports in the Taipei Times, a lawyer Chang Hsiu, speaking for wanted middleman Ching Chi-ju in Los Angeles, says it will be impossible to recover the missing millions.

He says a big chunk of it has already been paid to PNG officials.

But PNG's parliamentary public accounts committee chairman Timothy Bonga and lawyer Florian Gubon deny receiving any cash when they met in Taipei in August 2006.