12 Jul 2011

TI Vanuatu urges probe of embassy dealings in China

3:03 pm on 12 July 2011

Transparency International Vanuatu says police must initiate investigations over allegatons of widespread corruption revealed in a government audit of the embassy in China.

The audit report, which is still to be made public, details gross mismanagement by both government ministers and appointed officials in the running of the Beijing mission in the five years it's been in operation.

It also alleges corrupt behaviour particularly in relation to the issuance of visas and passports for which no money was remitted to Port Vila.

More than two million US dollars is involved.

Transparency's president, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson, says the Ombudsman has to recommend that police investigate.

"As it is all the top ministers it might be a bit difficult but that's what should be done, and what should be processed here, also at the same time the Ombudsman recommending prosecution for breaches of the Leadership Code. I think we will push for that. We will not drop it because it is so major, I mean we are looking at a huge amount of money."