20 Dec 2003

Solomons customs audit reveals corruption by some officials

9:31 am on 20 December 2003

The Under-secretary of Finance in Solomon Islands says a customs audit has revealed untoward and corrupt practices that have been referred to the police.

Colin Johnson, an Australian economic adviser in the Solomons under the Regional Assistance Mission, or Ramsi, says the suspected corrupt practices have been revealed by a three-month audit that's almost complete.

"As a result of that audit I know that one customs auditor has been reported to the police. I understand that one forestry official has been suspended, and I think that there are a lot of very sensible recommendations that comne out of the report that will help procedures going forward."

Colin Johnson will not detail the cases while the police investigations are under way, but he says the full customs audit will be released soon.

And he says a tax amnesty ending this month has prompted several Solomons' businesses to register for tax.