23 Jun 2011

Vanuatu audit report recommends closing Shanghai mission

1:48 pm on 23 June 2011

The Vanuatu government has been told it should consider shutting down its consular office in Shanghai amid allegations of corrupt practices there.

A government audit investigation over the past 16 months has identified a host of failings in the management of the Vanuatu Embassy in Beijing and its office in Shanghai.

Don Wiseman has more.

"The auditor general's report shows a huge waste of funds, missing receipts from visas approvals, and mismanagement and corruption by leading politicians and government officials. With regard to the Shanghai office it says the consul general should be replaced as soon as possible and that the government should consider closing the office. The report says the funding of the office is not provided by the Vanuatu government but a Chinese business consortium, whose owners have apparently been given Vanuatu diplomatic passports. It says local businessmen also have access to the three Mercedes cars registered to the post and which carry Vanuatu diplomatic plates. The consul general refused to co-operate with the auditors, who say the government must distance itself from any potentially corrupt practice in Shanghai. They also recommmend that an office be opened instead in Gaungdong province because that's the part of China which has the most contact with Vanuatu."