3 Sep 2012

Six people associated with Phocea leave Vanuatu despite prosecution appeal

3:10 pm on 3 September 2012

An American woman, Faviola Brugger Dadis, has left Vanuatu despite public prosecutors appealing her sentence on customs and obstruction charges in connection with the super yacht Phocea.

Vanuatu police raided Phocea on suspicion of fake passport manufacture and drugs smuggling in July.

It has been detained in Port Vila since then.

Dadis had been convicted and fined for unlawfully disembarking and obstructing a police officer.

13 crew were also fined for unlawfully disembarking.

Prosecutors launched an appeal last week and on Friday afternoon an order was issued by the court to them for not to leave the country.

But five crew had already gone while Dadis managed to leave the country after the court order was issued.

Another eight crew members are now waiting to appear before Vanuatu's appeal court but no date has been set for a hearing.

State prosecutors are also planning to lay charges against an additional nine people, including two Cabinet Ministers and the skipper of Phocea.