2 Nov 2011

Vanuatu Provident Fund head sacked by finance minister as evictions loom

7:00 pm on 2 November 2011

The Vanuatu finance minister, Moana Carcasses, has sacked the chairman of the Board of Vanuatu National Provident Fund, Benjamin Shing, and replaced him with his first political advisor, Morris Michel.

The move comes amid attempts by Mr Carcasses to stop the eviction of about 100 politicians and their families who have failed to repay loans to the Fund.

Last week, Mr Carcasses issued an instruction to the lawyers of the VNPF and the National Bank of Vanuatu to put on hold the eviction order but the attempt has failed.

On Friday, one politician, who is said to be a close friend of Mr Carcasses, was forced to relinquish his home.

In 1998, concerns over politicans' preferential access to Fund loans boiled over into the country's worst riot.