7 Aug 2006

Solomons government warns against bribery

3:29 pm on 7 August 2006

The Solomon Islands government says anyone trying to bribe government officials will face stiff penalities in the future.

The warning came after a Honiara businessman was sentenced to six months' jail for attempting to bribe an Inland Revenue investigator.

Paul Yee, who operates Excel Company Ltd, trading as Red Carpet, was behind in his tax returns and had offered the official money in the hope he'd been lenient on his company.

The investigator reported the matter after the incident in March last year and Mr Yee was charged with an offence under the Penal code.

A spokesperson for the government, Alfred Maesulia, says bribery is rife and the government must take action.

"I think the only way that the government can discourage corruption in this country is to take up such cases and give this kind of penalty to those who are trying to encourage bribery in this country. That might be a lesson to other business people."

Mr Maesulia says Mr Yee's case was unusual because bribery is hardly ever reported.