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Fiji envoy accused in Pekingese caper

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Published : 2013-04-24 19:46
Updated : 2013-04-26 22:41

Fijian Ambassador to Korea Filimone Kau and his wife were accused by Yongsan District police of making off with a pair of toy dogs earlier this month.

The owner of a local Itaewon watering hole identified as Nam, 43, told police she left her pet dogs with the couple to watch after while she closed up at midnight on Feb. 3. The next thing she knew, her pooches were gone, along with the couple. When she called the police, however, all she could tell them was: “They said they were from Fiji.” 

Bar owner Nam also told police that the couple would stop by for a cocktail or two on occasion.

Police eventually discovered after cross referencing Fijian visas one by one with CCTV video retrieved from the bar that the couple they were looking for was in fact the Fijian ambassador and his wife.

The police summoned the ambassador to appear at the Seoul Yongsan Police Station to clear up the matter, but Kau, 53, refused their request citing diplomatic immunity.

Fiji and Korea established diplomatic relations in October 1970, but the island nation in the South Pacific about 1,000 miles from New Zealand opened up an embassy in Korea in July last year.

Kau is his nation’s first resident ambassador to Korea. He presented his Letter of Credence to former President Lee Myung-bak in October last year.

Because he would not talk with investigators at the police station, the police visited the Fijian Embassy in Itaewon shortly after April 15. Kau then gave the dogs back to Nam.

“I thought she gave them to me,” Kau told the police.

By Philip Iglauer (ephilip2011@heraldcorp.com)

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