6 Sep 2012

Vanuatu Ministers who allegedly boarded Phocea illegally due in court tomorrow

1:33 pm on 6 September 2012

Vanuatu police have confirmed that they have taken statements from two Cabinet Ministers alleged to have illegally boarded the super yacht Phocea.

The vessel's owner and crew have been under police investigation since it arrrived in July amid allegations of fake passport manufacture, drugs smuggling and customs offences.

The ministers, who are unnamed, but are understood to be Education Minister Marcellino Pepite and Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot, are due to appear in court on Friday, on 12 charges.

These include fraud and breaches of Vanuatu's Maritime laws.

Meanwhile 8 crew of Phocea, who were fined for customs offences, are to appear in the appeal court this afternoon after prosecutors took exception to what they say are lenient sentences.