A local employee of the Japanese Embassy in Laos has allegedly embezzled some 6.7 million yen, according to the government’s Board of Audit.

The case was uncovered during an audit that covered 21 of Japan’s 189 overseas diplomatic establishments.

The employee, a Laotian national hired in 1980, swindled the embassy between April 2002 and January this year by forging receipts for payments for telephone services and newspapers, the board said Thursday. The money was allegedly used to cover the operating costs of a firm owned by the employee.

The employee was arrested by local police in March, and the Foreign Ministry said it will punish embassy officials in connection with the case.

An embezzlement case has also surfaced at the Japanese Consulate General in Edmonton, Canada, where an accountant pocketed some 1 million yen.

The board added that it uncovered inappropriate accounting practices at all of the 21 audited diplomatic establishments. It has asked the ministry to specify the scope of accounting jobs and to impose strict controls.

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