24 Jun 2011

Vanuatu top politicians faulted in China embassy audit

3:05 pm on 24 June 2011

A report by Vanuatu's auditor general office into mismanagement and irregularities within the diplomatic mission in China has faulted a number of prominent political figures.

The report details shoddy practices and makes allegations of corruption, following the opening of the Embassy in Beijing five years ago and its later offshoots, the consulate in Shanghai and travel office in Shuhai.

Don Wiseman reports:

"The auditors say former cabinet ministers, Sato Kilman, George Wells and Bakoa Kaltonga, had released diplomatic passports without proper documentation and to people in questionable positions. They say, Moana Carcasses, when he was internal affairs minister, had failed to revoke visas despite being informed that they shouldn't have been issued. The report says another MP Patrick Crowby, who returned to cabinet this week, had established the Shuhai office without having any right to do so. The audit report accuses leading government official, Jean Sese, of gross negligence for failing to take action despite being aware of the illegal activities undertaken by the China mission. And it says current ambassador and former cabinet minister, Willie Jimmy, appointed staff without authority, hasn't filed his annual returns form and has failed to remit revenue to Port Vila. It also accuses Mr Jimmy of corruption."