11 Apr 2011

Vanuatu to detain two vessels for illegal operations

1:40 pm on 11 April 2011

The Vanuatu Court has granted an order to detain two ships, MV Kaona and MV Christie, for illegal operations in the nation's waters.

The two were spotted on Malekula, collecting copra from the farmers around the island.

The Court orders followed the complaints deposited by Ports and Harbor, the Immigration department and the Vanuatu Investment Promotion.

The Vanuatu Authority has accused the Australian national, Carl Beldon, of breaching the maritime, immigration and investment acts.

Mr Beldon arrived in Vanuatu at the beginning of this year on a visitor's visa following the invitation by a political advisor, John Shing, to run two ships.

Mr Beldon had earlier been ordered to leave by the immigration authority following the cancellation of his visitor's visa.

He was granted a new visitor's visa by the then acting minister of internal affairs, Marcelino Pepite.

The Principal Immigration officer, Francois Batick, said Mr Beldon had no right to undertake business activites while his ships are still registered in Solomon Islands and he is in Vanuatu under the visitor's visa.