23 Jun 2020

Solomons opposition calls for investigation into border breach

7:13 am on 23 June 2020

The opposition in Solomon Islands has called for an investigation into the failure of authorities to detect the illegal entry of a yacht from New Caledonia.

Matthew Wale is the Leader of Opposition  in Solomon Islands.

Matthew Wale is the Leader of Opposition in Solomon Islands. Photo: Office of the Leader of Opposition

Under Covid-19 regulations yachts are banned from entering the country but three sailors from New Caledonia last week managed to berth in the capital, Honiara and come ashore undetected.

The trio were reported to authorities on Friday night after entering the Point Cruz Yacht Club.

They were arrested and have since tested negative for Covid-19 but are still required to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The leader of the opposition, Matthew Wale, said while the threat might have been handled well it exposed serious loopholes in the country's monitoring.

"Do we even have a red flag monitoring system for incoming foreign vessels on arrival?" Matthew Wale questioned.

"How can people have confidence in a system that is reactionary?"

Mr Wale called on the prime minister to investigate the incident and to hold those responsible for the blunder accountable.

"If the government thinks it is important to prosecute members of the public who breach restrictions, it must do the same also for officials who blatantly fail their duties to protect the public at our borders," Mr Wale said.