17 Jul 2019

Vanuatu healthcare provider CEO arrested in US

10:55 am on 17 July 2019

A controversial American drug company contracted by Vanuatu's government has replaced its chief executive after he was arrested at the US border.

Phoenix Life in Vanuatu

Photo: Phoenix Life

Phoenix Life Sciences International has an agreement to create a national healthcare network in Vanuatu and provide its diabetes-treating marijuana drug.

But its chief executive, Martin Tindall, who has led the company's efforts in Vanuatu, was suspended without pay and replaced by Janelle Marsden on 8 July.

The company said the move came after it learned Mr Tindall was arrested upon entering the US, but further details are not known.

Phoenix Life's 25-year deal with the Vanuatu government was put in question when Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said last month there was no commitment.

As well as providing diabetes healthcare services in Vanuatu, the company plans to produce and export its cannabis products from there.