A staff member of the Japanese embassy in Colombia reportedly embezzled almost $19,000 since 2007.
Japanese news agencies report that a 52-year-old Japanese citizen embezzled ¥1.55 million, or about $19,000, from the Japanese embassy by pocketing passport fees from January 2007 until May of 2010.
The Japanese Board of Audit found inconsistencies with the number of passports issued and the fees collected.
The man who reportedly stole the money to pay education costs and loans for his family was in the process of slowly returning the money when he was caught. He had already payed back ¥920,000 ($11,208) and paid the remaining ¥662,000 ($8,065) plus interest after he was discovered.
The embassy fired the man.
According to reports, the Japanese Foreign Ministry plans to punish the embassy in Colombia for lack of supervision.