14 Apr 2011

Vanuatu patrol boat stops two Solomons vessels

3:20 pm on 14 April 2011

The Vanuatu police patrol vessel, RVS Tukoro, has arrested two Solomon Islands vessels for allegedly operating illegally in Vanuatu waters.

MV Kaona was arrested at Luganville on Santo and MV Christie at Malekula.

Both boats had reportedly been loading copra.

The police operation came after complaints from Customs, Immigration and the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority that the owner of the vessels, Australian national, Carl Beldon, hadn't got the proper clearance to operate the vessels.

Mr Beldon has said he was invited to bring his two ships to Vanuatu by the prime minister's first political advisor, John Shing.