Tahitian authorities keep an eye on the 'King of Pakumotu'

7:21 am on 13 September 2018

The authorities in French Polynesia have put the self-styled king of the Pakumotu republic under observation as he is poised to continue to defy the French state.

Earlier this year, Athanase Teiri was given a one-year jail sentence for circulating a fake currency and for intimidation.

However, he has not served his sentence in full, and has now announced via social media that he is hiring 3,000 people, mainly as 'police officers'.

Appearing on local television channels, he showed sheets with bills of his group's currency, the patu.

He again claimed that the patu was the official currency, pointing to France for not using the Euro in Tahiti.

Four years ago, a woman was given a prison sentence for trying to pay for petrol with a 100 patu note.

The Pakamotu group had been defying the French state for years by purporting to have its own government.

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