29 Mar 2020

Jail terms over New Caledonia airport vandalism

10:30 am on 29 March 2020

Jail terms over New Caledonia airport vandalism

A man in New Caledonia has been jailed over last weekend's vandalism at Noumea's international airport amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The criminal court sentenced a total of seven people to prison sentences for smashing the terminal's glass front and for damaging about 40 cars parked outside.

Les Nouvelles Caledonienes said the ring leader has begun serving a two-year jail term of which 18 months will be suspended.

Six others are still free but will need to serve jail terms as well.

A minor involved in the disturbance is yet to be tried.

The attack at the airport came a day after a rally outside the airport in La Tontouta calling for tougher measures, defying directives to avoid large gatherings.

Since Monday night, movements are restricted and anyone outside their homes must have a written attestation to justify their movement.

Breaches will incur a fine of $US800 for a first offence.

More than 16,000 checks are reported to have been carried out territory-wide, but it's not known if anyone has been fined.

The OPT telecommunications company has made a public appeal for respect of its installations and staff.

It said since the restrictions were imposed there has been an increase in vandalism.