Kevin Lai, The Permanent Representative of Vanuatu to ESCAP, In Thai Police Custody

KEVIN LAI, who reportedly became an honourable envoy of Vanuatu since April 2014, is now in the custody of Thai Police.

Thai police have raided rooms owned by Kevin Lai, the raid followed “a recent discovery by police of UFun Store Co Ltd, an affiliate of UFun, having deposited US$10mil (RM36mil) with UDBP Management (Thailand)”, reported Thai Star Online.

Kevin Lai was the President of the UDBP (United Development Bank of Pacific), his deputy manager, “Chinese national Yang Yuan Zhao, 48, has also been arrested over allegations of wrongfully raising funds from 8,000 people in China and four in Thailand”, reported Pol Lt-General Suwira Songmetta, who is the leading investigator into UFun, which “faces allegations of running a pyramid scheme”.

What is a pyramid scheme? A pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participant’s payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.

The rooms that were raided were allegedly…

“used to host members of the UFun management and diplomats from Vanuatu”, the leading investigator continued to report that “Lai paid a salary to Vanuatu diplomats for conditions he did not specify”.

“Lai, who also held diplomatic status for the Micronesian country of Nauru in 2005 but was discharged from the post in 2011, continued misusing his diplomatic immunity for things such as importing luxury cars without paying taxes,” the Thai Star Online reported, “after “receiving a notice from police about Lai’s fraudulent activities, the Foreign Ministry refused to accept Vanuatu government’s request to recognise him as a special envoy” the leading investigator explained said.

Who are the Vanuatu diplomats that received salary payments from Mr Lai?

The Thai government was aware of Lai’s fraudulent activities that is why the foreign ministry refused to accept Vanuatu government’s request to recognize him as a special envoy, said the leading investigator.

This is a very concerning issue for Vanuatu. Yes! we are all concerned about this latest news, why do some of Vanuatu’s foreign representatives allegedly have to get involved in this type of activities? But more importantly, were our leaders already aware of their past activities before appointing them to represent Vanuatu?

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