17 Jun 2011

Member of the French Polynesia ruling party detained on fraud charge

11:00 am on 17 June 2011

The head of the budget and finance commission of French Polynesia's Assembly, Clarenntz Vernaudon, has been detained for alleged fraud.

Tahiti Presse says Mr Vernaudon, who is a member of the ruling Union for Democracy party, has been transferred to Nuutania Prison after being held for questioning for two days.

He's alleged to have been involved in a tax exemption scam to the benefit of several companies including Taiarapu Marine.

The provisional detention follows last month's arrest of a local businessman, Thierry Pageau, over the affair.

In 1999 Mr Vernaudon was banned from running a business for ten years.

He's also a former sports minister in the government run by Gaston Tong Sang.