21 Aug 2009

Bank search in French Polynesia's OPT probe continues

10:33 am on 21 August 2009

Investigators in French Polynesia have this morning again searched the premises of the Socredo Bank in Papeete as part of an investigation into alleged corruption and abuse of public funds in the running of the state-owned OPT telecommunications company.

This comes after a search yesterday and one earlier in the week.

Tahitipresse says two bank officials were detained as part of the probe.

One of them is being described as an associate of the former OPT head, Geffry Salmon, who was this week taken to the bank from the Tahiti jail where he has been held for several months as part of the probe.

Newspaper reports say Mr Salmon has had substantial wealth in his bank safe.

A month ago, the territory's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, was questioned by police in France over the OPT affair.

Mr Flosse is alleged to have received kickbacks of about two million US dollars from a French advertising executive for granting public sector contracts during his time as President of French Polynesia.