Solomon Islands MP Dickson Mua arrested for corruption

8:47 am on 1 November 2018

A member of parliament in Solomon Islands, Dickson Mua, has been arrested and charged with corruption.

The MP for Savo Russell, is accused of misusing a shipping grant worth more than $US374,000 which he received in 2013 purportedly to buy a ship for his constituency.

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Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

It is alleged the ship was never purchased and instead the MP spent $US300,000 buying outboard motor powered canoes and other equipment for his supporters.

And then withdrew most of the remaining money and used the rest on expenses unrelated to the purpose of the shipping grant.

Mr Mua was charged with one count of conversion on Wednesday afternoon and bailed to reappear at the Honiara Central Magistrates Court on November the 14th.

The Police commissioner Matthew Varley said the arrest was the culmination of a long and complex investigation.

"It is not the police's job to become involved in politics but it is our job to uphold the laws of this country and that is what we have done in this case," Mr Varley said.

"And the message here is that no one is above the law and the police force will continue to investigate allegations of corruption in Solomon Islands no matter where the cases might lead."

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley.

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley. Photo: Solomon Islands UNDP

The police commissioner also alluded to more high-profile corruption cases being in the pipeline.

"We have said before that we have a number of cases continuing to be under investigation. We don't comment on which cases are or aren't under investigation.What I can say is that we are doing our best to investigate the cases as thoroughly as we can within the resources that we have and when the time is right, those cases will be brought before the courts as we have done today," said Matthew Varley.

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