26 May 2011

Vanuatu stevedoring boss denies Minister's claims about dead baby

3:22 pm on 26 May 2011

The chief executive of a Vanuatu cargo loading company being investigated for alleged misappropriation is maintaining that a police search caused the death of an infant relative of one of its employees.

The Minister of Finance, Moana Kalosil Carcasses, says police searched the premises of the Luganville-based Nothern Islands Stevedoring Company last week.

He says the company's claim that a baby was unable to be taken to hospital because its parents were detained during the search is untrue.

But NISCOL's chief executive, Kalfau Moli, says the search prevented the baby's mother, whom he says is the sister of an employee, from taking her daughter to hospital.

"The girl with the toddler, the nine-month old toddler, they waited outside for a copra truck that was went on the weighbridge and came and couldn't come out from the wharf because it was stopped by the police. And pending that they were waiting, the lady was waiting with her daughter outside and she died."

Kalfau Moli says his company hasn't done anything wrong and the government's allegations are politically motivated.