10 Mar 2011

Niue Customs officer charged with stealing US$26,000

10:21 am on 10 March 2011

A customs officer in Niue has been charged with stealing about 26,000 US dollars from departure taxes.

The Chief of Police, Mark Chenery, says the woman faces a charge of theft, which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

He says the departure tax went missing between November 2009 to September 2010 and alarm bells were raised by Treasury.

"It was identified by Treasury as an anomaly when they weren't getting as much departure tax as they should have been from departing tourists and departing passengers and they brought it to the attention of the police and we started an investigation in November of last year."

Mark Chenery says they'll be asking for the money to be paid back if the woman is convicted.