3 Oct 2014

Kiribati loses a million dollars to cyber crime

7:15 am on 3 October 2014

The police in Kiribati have launched an investigation into the theft of more than 1.1 million US dollars through what the goverment is calling cyber crime.

The Minister of Commerce Pinto Katia has told parliament that the missing money has been stolen and there was nothing they could do to avoid such theft as it involved highly sophisticated skills.

The Kiribati Independent reports that the money relates to the wiring of money to an overseas account in order to purchase a landing craft for the Line and Phoenix islands.

Earlier the government claimed the money was wired to their supplier in the Philippines but they were informed that the money has been transferred to the wrong account.

Butaritari MP Alexander Teabo is urging the government tighten controls to ensure that donations for projects are safe.

Mr Teabo says in his view the theft indicates a lack of competence, care and responsibility.

Taiwan donated 1-point-5 million dollars in January for the project.