National Immigration Agency, Taipei City, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps
National Immigration Agency, Taipei City, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A senior Paraguayan official who was accused of sexual misconduct during an official trip to Taiwan has had his resignation accepted by the Paraguayan government. 

Julian Vega was appointed as the Paraguayan immigration director in August this year, The China Times reported.

He was among 11 participants from nine countries, including the United States, Belgium, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa and Guatemala, visiting Taiwan for a training course for immigration officials, organised by the National Immigration Agency. The course was scheduled to take place between October 2 and 9, 2018.

Vega was assigned a female Spanish-speaking interpreter. She reportedly filed a case of sexual misconduct against the director at the Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday, accusing Vega of having inappropriately rubbed her thigh.

Although the Taiwanese government cleared Vega of the accusation, his subsequent resignation was said to have been accepted with immediate effect by the South American government.

Neither Vega nor his interpreter took any further part in the course following her accusation.

Given the diplomatic sensitivity of the situation involved, Taiwanese law enforcement were reluctant to discuss the issue further.

However, the National Immigration Agency issued a press statement on Monday saying that a settlement between the pair had been reached in private. It was no longer a case but simply a “misunderstanding” due to inadequate foreign cultural knowledge of the interpreter.

According to a report in the Paraguayan newspaper ABC Color, Vega, who was expected to arrive in his home country next Thursday, admitted that he had touched the interpreter on her thigh to get her to explain a word to him. He insisted that he did not know that doing so was offensive in Taiwan.

The Paraguayan Minister of the Interior Juan Ernesto Villamayor who previously spoke to the media in a statement heavily critical of Vega that declared the accusation a real embarrassment, accepted Vega’s resignation with effect from October 8.