28 Aug 2012

Vanuatu government ministers may face charges in Phocea yacht affair

4:24 am on 28 August 2012

The acting Commissioner of the Vanuatu Police Force, John Malon Taleo, says two government ministers may face charges in the Phocea yacht affair.

Police have already confirmed that two ministers in the coalition government of Prime Minister Sato Kilman were seen on board the luxury vessel before police raided the yacht last month.

Photographs have been published in local papers of the Minister of Education, Marcelino Pepite and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfred Carlot, on the yacht with the owner Pascal Anh Quan Saken before being cleared by customs.

A number of crew have been fined for immigration offences but the skipper remains on bail and the owner has fled the country.

The acting Commissioner says police will continue investigations over allegations surrounding the ministers at the end of the extra-ordinary session of parliament on Thursday.

Last week's attempt was unsuccessful as MPs are covered by parliamentary immunity.