7 Jan 2011

Fraudulent scheme may involve Marshalls health care

8:13 am on 7 January 2011

A scheme to defraud the Marshall Islands government of tens of thousands of dollars, may have involved funding for health services.

Businessman David Chin Tung Lin became the fourth person to be charged in relation to the alleged fraud on Wednesday.

Government investigators say more than a million US dollars may have been stolen in about the last five years by a crime ring involving numerous government employees in different ministries.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson says the alleged fraud involved charging for goods or services which weren't provided.

He says the investigation, which is currently focussing on US grant funding for the Ministry of Health, is leading to public concern

"Well I think if they're losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in money that's supposed to be going to provide health or other services, then presumably yes it did have some impact. People, rank and file people, certainly aren't happy about it."

Giff Johnson says two workers from the Finance Ministry, which issued the checks, have already been charged in relation to the fraud.