Are Bankers Disguised As Diplomats Buying Diplomatic Protection For Their Assets?

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ARE BANKERS DISGUISED as diplomats buying diplomatic protection for their assets? It is definitely something to think about, don’t you think?

More questions are being raised, and more enforcement offices are joining hands in the UFun investigations that has been underway in Thailand for a while, with links to the Vanuatu licensed Bank, the United Development Bank of Pacific Limited (UDBP) of which Kevin Lai, the Vanuatu Special Envoy, is the President.

What is a pyramid scheme?

The unsustainable exponential progression of a classic pyramid scheme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme)

The unsustainable exponential progression of a classic pyramid scheme
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme)

A pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participant’s payment or

services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.

And with over 8,000 victims from the pyramid scheme being Chinese, China has now officially joined the international UFun Club investigation, according to The Nation news service.

But first, is the UDBP Bank actually licensed to Vanuatu?UDBP BANK

Yes! It seems so. In November last year, the Daily Post reported that during a statement marking the first anniversary celebration of the UDBP, the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Mr. Peter Tari, congratulated the UDBP Bank President, Mr. Kevin Lai, and stated that the “UDBP Bank is one of the international banks licensed by the Reserve Bank and I believe the bank has an important role to play towards the advancement of the economy of Vanuatu”. And so with this given timeframe, the UDBP Bank must have registered in Vanuatu sometime in November of 2013.

In February this year, after getting involved in government activities, the Vanuatu Daily Digest reported that a “a writer to this news service (Vanuatu Daily Digest)”, who is a “well-known international investment advisory service” raised a question “along the lines of ‘how is it possible for United Development Bank of the Pacific (UDBP) to deal locally with the Vanuatu Government?’ He says UDBP is an offshore licensed bank in Vanuatu and is therefore prevented by law in dealing with the government.”

From other reports, the UDBP looks to invest well in Vanuatu. But with the latest news surfacing on the

United Development Bank of Pacific Limited promised tol own the tallest building in Vanuatu

United Development Bank of Pacific Limited promised to own the tallest building in Vanuatu

irregularities linked with the UDBP, it remains to be seen if the bank can still fulfil one of its biggest promise; to own the tallest building in Port Vila costing over 3 billion vatu, as reported by the Daily Post earlier this year. Again in February the UDBP Bank President signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vanuatu Minister of Justice, Hon. Alfred Carlot for the financing of an important project amounting to Vt3 billion; a new Hall of Justice in Port Vila, new court buildings in Luganville, Santo, Saratamata in Penama Province, Lakatoro on Malekula and Isangel on Tanna.

The UDBP Bank President, Mr. Kevin Lai, is also the President of the Bangkok based Pacific Educational Medical Foundation (PEMF), which made a donation of 1.2 million vatu towards a school in Ambae, handing the cheque to the school chairman committee Mr. Peter Tari in September 2014. Reportedly, the PEMF also provided assistance in the form of the public toilet at Freswota, the mamas market at Freswota One, and iron roofing for a mamas market at Freswota 5.

Kevin Lai Arrested

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This week Thai Police arrested Kevin Lai over allegations of “wrongfully raising funds from 8,000 people in China and four in Thailand”, reported Pol Lt-General Suwira Songmetta, who is the leading investigator into UFun Club, which “faces allegations of running a pyramid scheme”.

The Police Raid

Thai police raided rooms owned by Kevin Lai, the raid followed “a recent discovery by police of UFun Store Co Ltd, an affiliate of UFun, having deposited US$10mil (RM36mil) with UDBP Management (Thailand)”, reported Thai Star Online.

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Diplomatic Positions – is it for protection?

Furthermore, Mr. Kevin Lai reportedly became an honourable envoy of Vanuatu since April 2014.Transparency International Vanuatu contacted the Vanuatu Foreign Affairs office to enquire on the position of Mr. Lai, and they confirmed his position as the Permanent Representative of Vanuatu at ESCAP. Also, on the UNESCAP website: www.unescap.orgMr. Lai’s name appeared to confirm his position as Vanuatu’s representative at UNESCAP.

Interestingly, the Bank President previously held a similar diplomatic post, Mr. Kevin Lai is the same person that…

“held diplomatic status for the Micronesian country of Nauru in 2005 but was discharged from the post in 2011”, Why? Reportedly he “continued misusing his diplomatic immunity for things such as importing luxury cars without paying taxes” reports the Thai Star news service.

On 27 May The Nation news service reported that the recent arrests of “two executives of UDBP Management (Thailand) Co, Malaysian manager Kevin Lai, 49, and Chinese deputy manager Yang Yuan Zhao, 48, the Bank of Thailand probe found that UDBP wasn’t registered as a bank. The company allegedly operated business in the manner of a pyramid scheme.”

The report further stated that transactions “showed that money from China was wired to Thailand before it was sent to Malaysia and then Vanuatu; hence, it could be regarded as a transnational pyramid scheme”, the leading investigator explained that the “Police would treat this UDBP’s alleged pyramid scheme case separately from the UFUN case”.

Lai Paid for Vanuatu Diplomat Salaries

The rooms that were raided were allegedly “used to host members of the UFun management and diplomats from Vanuatu”, the leading investigator continued to report that “Lai paid a salary to Vanuatu diplomats for conditions he did not specify”.

The Thai Star Online reported that after “receiving a notice from police about Lai’s fraudulent activities, the Foreign Ministry refused to accept Vanuatu government’s request to recognise him as a special envoy” the leading investigator explained said.

Who are the Vanuatu diplomats that received salary payments from Mr Lai?

The Thai government was aware of Lai’s fraudulent activities that is why the foreign ministry refused to accept Vanuatu government’s request to recognize him as a special envoy, said the leading investigator.

This is a very concerning issue for Vanuatu. Yes! We are all concerned about this latest news, why do some of Vanuatu’s foreign representatives allegedly have to get involved in this type of activities? But more importantly, were our leaders already aware of their past activities before appointing them to represent Vanuatu.


Picture Sources:

1. https://www.google.com/search?q=bankers+in+disguise&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=4IBrVcnyFqaNmwXi04G4Bw&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1400&bih=783#tbm=isch&q=bankers&imgrc=a8Cj7kKBfij1hM%253A%3BV-gnOUbSYxVUFM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Ftorapuro.files.wordpress.com%252F2012%252F07%252Fevil_banker.jpg%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Ftorapuro.wordpress.com%252F2012%252F07%252F03%252Fbankers-under-your-bed%252F%3B293%3B400

2. http://miricommunity.net/discussion/98940/ufun-linked-udbp-bank-raided-by-thailand-police-15-may-2015

3. http://www.dailypost.vu/news/article_72676c96-1d52-568b-ad11-14824fc65dc8.html?mode=image&photo=0

4. https://www.google.com/search?q=Diplomat+in+disguise&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=boZrVbmNC4XVmgWaroDgAg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAw&biw=1400&bih=783#tbm=isch&q=banker+disguise&imgrc=Y95F9znU-WjnlM%253A%3BYJh7gPfxTNahPM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.media-criticism.com%252FMedia_Presscore_Sandy2012_Federal_Reserve_backed_Occupation.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.media-criticism.com%252FSandy_HAARP.htm%3B480%3B340

Other Sources:

http://www.jobtopgun.com/global/search/company_background.jsp?idEmp=20528

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Is it incapability? Incompetency? Pride? Or is it just pure ignorance?

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Is it incapability? Incompetency? Pride? Or is it just pure ignorance? What happens if some national pillars are shorter or are weaker than the rest? Will you trust our national roof to stay in place? Or will it lay to one side, adding enormous pressure on the stronger pillars until they themselves break down under the strain, consistently snapping off the stronger joints around the structure till one by one the pillars fall like domino, helping each other to fall until all that remains is nothing but a cloud of dust.

These are just words on paper painting a metaphorical image. But technically, this is what can happen if ignorance, incompetency and incapability unite to become stronger than their opposites.

What are we actually referring to when we talk about national pillars? Pillars are what holds the values and the integrity of the nation in balance, they are represented by several institutions such as the public sector, the media, civil society, political parties, the judiciary and several other institutions as shown below:

NISNormally, when a pillar is unsupported, the pillar next to it is forced to carry twice the amount of weight that it was initially designed to carry. As a result, the pressure on all pillars or institutions increase. Also, the thrust of their weights on the Foundation (politics, society, economy, culture) increases thoroughly, and with time the whole structure becomes unstable.

The demand for better services, better roads, no nepotism, no more motions, accurate reporting etc… technically, are pleas for a stronger, competent and stable structure.

The men and women who operate within these pillars hold great responsibilities; to uphold nationalistic values through good governance, honesty and fairness, to coordinate and make sure that the relevant services to society are fairly met. To be able to do this, the Public Service including all the government companies are required to recruit people with the right qualities, the right mentality, and the brightest of the bunch.

Thus, it becomes concerning when we learn that the performance so far by some companies does not reflect what is expected from them. In April the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed their findings after a weeklong session, the first finding on their list:

Institutions do not comply with the Public Finance and Economic Management (PFEM) ACT, (17).

Again, the questions reappear ‘Is it incapability? Incompetency? Pride? Or is it just pure ignorance?’ It was further emphasized that the Public Service laws must be enforced thoroughly; a) when recruiting, b) when they (public servants) do not perform.

During last week’s TIV’s weekly radio show at 96 BUZZ FM, the recruitment topic re-surfaced; do we have the right people at the right places? If so, then why did they ‘admitted’ to breaking the law? Were they ever fully aware of the laws that govern them?

It is recommended that the Public Service enforce their laws. The recruitment process should be more thorough and extensive, for instance whenever there is a vacancy the advertisement for that post is published, each applicant is required to submit all their necessary details. After that, all the shortlisted candidates go through the interview process, once the successful candidate is selected, he or she must then go through another week of training or orientation, where he or she intensively learns about the relevant laws that govern and guide the individuals working environment. The successful candidate will only assume his or her duty in the vacant post if he or she successfully; a) completes the training, b) passes a test/assignment. If they fail, either they get a second chance, or a new potential candidate is selected from the previous pool of interviewees.

This is to make sure that individuals filling up significant positions need to be fully aware and thadeadlinet they understand their own laws.

Looking at the PAC findings, it is clear that each institution ‘failed’ to submit financial statements and their audited reports, each individual reluctantly ‘admitted’ to breaking their financial rules. As each passing day draws us nearer to the final submission deadline – June -, the pressure is on. How many have submitted their reports? ‘None! Very few!’ we have received contradicting reports.

It would be interesting to see what actions are taken against those that do not submit their reports by the deadline; will the punishment fall on the company? Or on the person that leads it?

Kevin Lai, The Permanent Representative of Vanuatu to ESCAP, In Thai Police Custody

KEVIN LAI, who reportedly became an honourable envoy of Vanuatu since April 2014, is now in the custody of Thai Police.

Thai police have raided rooms owned by Kevin Lai, the raid followed “a recent discovery by police of UFun Store Co Ltd, an affiliate of UFun, having deposited US$10mil (RM36mil) with UDBP Management (Thailand)”, reported Thai Star Online.

Kevin Lai was the President of the UDBP (United Development Bank of Pacific), his deputy manager, “Chinese national Yang Yuan Zhao, 48, has also been arrested over allegations of wrongfully raising funds from 8,000 people in China and four in Thailand”, reported Pol Lt-General Suwira Songmetta, who is the leading investigator into UFun, which “faces allegations of running a pyramid scheme”.

What is a pyramid scheme? A pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participant’s payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.

The rooms that were raided were allegedly…

“used to host members of the UFun management and diplomats from Vanuatu”, the leading investigator continued to report that “Lai paid a salary to Vanuatu diplomats for conditions he did not specify”.

“Lai, who also held diplomatic status for the Micronesian country of Nauru in 2005 but was discharged from the post in 2011, continued misusing his diplomatic immunity for things such as importing luxury cars without paying taxes,” the Thai Star Online reported, “after “receiving a notice from police about Lai’s fraudulent activities, the Foreign Ministry refused to accept Vanuatu government’s request to recognise him as a special envoy” the leading investigator explained said.

Who are the Vanuatu diplomats that received salary payments from Mr Lai?

The Thai government was aware of Lai’s fraudulent activities that is why the foreign ministry refused to accept Vanuatu government’s request to recognize him as a special envoy, said the leading investigator.

This is a very concerning issue for Vanuatu. Yes! we are all concerned about this latest news, why do some of Vanuatu’s foreign representatives allegedly have to get involved in this type of activities? But more importantly, were our leaders already aware of their past activities before appointing them to represent Vanuatu?

More reading:

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/05/20/Thailand-Malaysia-Police-UFun/

http://www.udbpbank.com/news1002.html

http://www.udbpbank.com/news1001.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE FINDINGS, RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATION

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The findings and the recommendations of the PAC were delivered on 10 April, 2015, during a press conference that was held at the Pigs Tusk, Parliament House.

Findings and Resolutions of the Hearing conducted on the 1st to the 9th of April 2015

  1. Institutions do not comply with the Public Finance and Economic Management (PFEM) ACT, (17) 1.
  2. Authorities supervising the institutions do not know about the PFEM ACT and own ACTs.
  3. Many of these institutions manage to pay their salaries and benefits however failed to pay the government dividends.
  4. Board members do not know how to administer their institutions.
  5. There is no accountant hired in some of these institutions, and they have not recruited professional accountants to do professional duties.
  6. The Heads of Institutions do not worry about breaking the law.
  7. Money allocated and collected are State Money/ Public Fund – Part 10, subsection 43 (1).
  8. The Public Accounts Committee used the Police on several cases to summon people, however did not prosecute anyone.

Recommendations

PAC to ask the Prime Minister and the government to:

  1. Relook at the government state owned enterprises – if not paying any dividends then government must reconsider decisions.
  2. Public Service to enforce the law of the Public Service: a) When recruiting b) When they (Public Servants) do not do their jobs.
  3. Ask the Public Service to enforce cap 246 (section 33 on allowances) – fees for official services when Director Generals and Directors are sitting as board members and receiving allowances.
  4. VNPF – re-establish its subsidy companies (Limited Companies): Members Financial Services Limited (MFSL), Ranch de Bouffa Ltd, VNBR with regards to their reporting requirements.
  5. Government Remuneration Tribunal – check all salary scale across the board.
  6. NISCOL – restructure before extending the concessional agreement.
  7. Amend the Expenditure Review and Audit Act to enable the PAC and AG to punish to noncompliance to PFEM Act.
  8. Ask VNPF to stop investing for the time being.
  9. Ask the government to establish the Public Accounts Office – budget of VT5, 000,000.
  10. Increase PAC budget: VT3, 000, 000 x 3 Hearings/year = VT 9, 000, 000.

The List of Government Statutory Bodies (GSB) and the years that they have not submitted their reports including the re-scheduled deadline for submissions:

# Government Statutory Body Financial Statements & Audit Reports Deadline

2015

1 Vanuatu National Provident Fund 2013 June
2 Vanuatu National Provident Fund 2014 June
3 Member Financial Services Limited 2013 June
4 Member Financial Services Limited 2014 June
5 Bouffa Ranch Limited 2013 – 2014 June
6 Asset Management Unit 2007 – 2014 June
7 Vanuatu Tourism Office 2011 – 2014 June
8 Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation 2008 – 2009 / 2013 June
9 Vanuatu National Housing Corporation 1998 – 2014 June
10 Vanuatu Financial Services Commission 2010 – 2014 June
11 Chamber of Commerce & Industries 2013 – 2014 June
12 Vanuatu Institute of Technology 2004 – 2014 June
13 Vanuatu National Training Council 2005 – 2012 June
14 Vanuatu National Training Council 2013 – 2014 June
15 Vanuatu National Cultural Council 2010 – 2014 June
16 Vanuatu National Sports Council 2005 – 2014 June
17 Airports Vanuatu Limited 2012 – 2014 June
18 Vanuatu Livestock Department 2004 – 2013 June
19 Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board 2001 – 2014 June
20 Vanuatu Institute of Education 2004 – 2014 June
21 Vanuatu Nursing Council 2004 – 2014 June
22 Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs 2005 – 2014 June
23 Terminal Services Limited 2012 – 2014 June
24 NISCOL 2007 – 2014 June
25 Provincial Kava Authority 2013 – 2014 June
Provincial Councils & Municipalities Financial & Audit Reports Deadline
26 Port Vila Municipality 2005 – 2014 June
27 Luganville Municipality 2005 – 2014 June
28 Lenakel Municipal Council 2009 – 2014 June
29 SANMA Provincial Council 2005 – 2014 June
30 PENAMA Provencal Council 2005 – 2014 June
31 TORBA provincial Council 2005 – 2014 June
32 SHEFA Provincial Council 2005 – 2014 June
33 MALAMPA Provincial Council 2005 – 2014 June
34 TAFEA Provincial Council 2005 – 2014 June

 

Government Statutory Body/Bodies…

…That lack qualified professional accountants:

  1. Vanuatu National Housing Corporation
  2. Vanuatu National Training Council
  3. Vanuatu National Cultural Council
  4. Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs
  5. Vanuatu Nursing Council
  6. Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation
  7. Vanuatu Institute of Technology
  8. Vanuatu National Sports Council
  9. Airports Vanuatu Limited
  10. Air Vanuatu Operations Ltd
  11. Vanuatu Livestock Development Ltd
  12. Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board
  13. Municipality of Port Vila
  14. Municipality of Lenakel
  15. Vanuatu Institute of Education
  16. Provincial Kava Authority
  17. VNBR – Just established

 …That have qualified professional accountants:

  1. Vanuatu National Provident Fund
  2. Members Financial Services Limited
  3. Ranch de la Bouffa Limited
  4. Asset Management Unit
  5. Vanuatu Tourism Office
  6. Vanuatu Financial Services Commission
  7. Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce
  8. Terminal Services Limited
  9. NISCOL
  10. Municipality of Luganville
  11. SANMA Provincial Council
  12. PENAMA Provincial Council
  13. MALAMPA Provincial Council
  14. SHEFA Provincial Council
  15. TAFEA Provincial Council
  16. Utilities Regulatory Authority
  17. TORBA Provincial Council

With no “qualified CEO” or “no proper administration” giving reason for non-compliance to PFEM Act/own Act/ Companies Act:

  1. Airports Vanuatu Limited
  2. NISCOL

Who have “no knowledge of the PFEM Act” or are not aware of the PFEM Act:

  1. Air Vanuatu Operations Ltd
  2. Vanuatu Institute of Education
  3. Vanuatu National Provident Fund
  4. Members Financial Services Limited
  5. Vanuatu National Housing Corporation
  6. Vanuatu National Sports Council
  7. Airports Vanuatu Limited
  8. Terminal Services Limited
  9. Provincial Kava Authority
  10. Vanuatu Livestock Development Ltd
  11. Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board
  12. NISCOL
  13. Municipality of Luganville
  14. Municipality of Port Vila
  15. Municipality of Lenakel
  16. SANMA Provincial Council
  17. MALAMPA Provincial Council
  18. SHEFA Provincial Council
  19. TAFEA Provincial Council
  20. VNBR

 …Listed for liquidation on approval by COM or de-registered:

  1. Asset Management Unit
  2. Provincial Kava Authority – De-registered in 2006.

…Who have faced “problems due to preparation of financial statements by another accounting firm”, or who have had a “change of auditors therefore difficulty encountered”:

  1. Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation
  2. Vanuatu Tourism Office

A declaration of 0% was made by the board which resulted in the delay of the provisions of the financial statement on time to the Auditor General:

  1. Vanuatu National Provident Fund
  2. Members Financial Services Limited
  3. Ranch de la Bouffa Limited

 …That reported to their Parent Company instead of to the Auditor General:

  1. Terminal Services Limited
  2. Members Financial Services Limited
  3. Ranch de la Bouffa Limited

 …That reported to the Department of Local Authority instead of to the Auditor General:

  1. Municipality of Luganville
  2. Municipality of Port Vila
  3. Municipality of Lenakel
  4. SANMA Provincial Council
  5. PENAMA Provincial Council
  6. MALAMPA Provincial Council
  7. SHEFA Provincial Council
  8. TORBA Provincial Council
  9. TAFEA Provincial Council

That are aware of Company Act (Financial Reporting):

  1. Asset Management Unit
  2. Vanuatu Tourism Office
  3. Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation
  4. Vanuatu Financial Services Commission
  5. Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce
  6. Ranch de la Bouffa Limited
  7. TORBA Provincial Council
  8. Utilities Regulatory Authority
  9. Vanuatu National Provident Fund
  10. Members Financial Services Limited

 71% are not fully aware of own Act

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…That are not aware of Company Act (Financial Reporting):

  1. Vanuatu National Housing Corporation
  2. Vanuatu Institute of Technology
  3. Vanuatu National Training Council
  4. Vanuatu National Cultural Council
  5. Vanuatu National Sports Council
  6. Airports Vanuatu Limited
  7. Terminal Services Limited
  8. Air Vanuatu Operations Limited
  9. Provincial Kava Authority – deregistered in 2006
  10. Vanuatu Livestock Development Ltd
  11. Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board
  12. NISCOL
  13. Municipality of Luganville
  14. Municipality of Port Vila
  15. Municipality of Lenakel
  16. SANMA Provincial Council
  17. MALAMPA Provincial Council
  18. SHEFA Provincial Council
  19. TAFEA Provincial Council
  20. PENAMA Provincial Council
  21.  Vanuatu Nursing Council
  22.  VNBR
  23.  Vanuatu Institute of Education

82% not aware of Expenditure Review & Audit Act

Airports Vanuatu limited responds to the PAC questions,

Airports Vanuatu limited responds to the PAC questions, “”Why haven’t you submitted your financial audited reports?” the PAC questions Airports Vanuatu limited”

 …That are aware of the Expenditure Review & Audit Act:

  1. Asset Management Unit
  2. Vanuatu Tourism Office
  3. Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation
  4. Vanuatu Financial Services Commission
  5. Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce
  6. Utilities Regulatory Authority

…That are not aware of the Expenditure Review & Audit Act:

  1. Vanuatu National Provident Fund
  2. Members Financial Services Limited
  3. Ranch de la Bouffa Limited
  4. Vanuatu National Housing Corporation
  5. Vanuatu National Training Council
  6. Vanuatu Institute of Technology
  7. Vanuatu National Cultural Council
  8. Vanuatu National Sports Council
  9. Airports Vanuatu Limited
  10. Terminal Services Limited
  11. Air Vanuatu Operations Limited
  12. Provincial Kava Authority Ltd
  13. Vanuatu Livestock Development Ltd
  14. Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board
  15. NISCOL
  16. Municipality of Luganville
  17. Municipality of Port Vila
  18. Municipality of Lenakel
  19. SANMA Provincial Council
  20. PENAMA Provincial Council
  21. MALAMPA Provincial Council
  22. SHEFA Provincial Council
  23. TORBA Provincial Council
  24. TAFEA Provincial Council
  25. Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs
  26. Vanuatu Nursing Council
  27. Vanuatu Institute of Education
  28. VNBR

To view a detailed report of the findings, resolutions and recommendations revealed by the PAC please click on the link below:

Other related online materials:

  1. The role of the Public Accounts Committee:

https://parliament.gov.vu/index.php/wcs/committee-public-accounts

  1. tivnews, 2015, “PAC tightens grip over government statutory bodies”, Public Accounts Hearing, https://tivnews.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/pac-tightens-grip-on-government-statutory-bodies-over-financial-audited-reports/
  1. tivnews, 2015, “You Have Failed: PAC”, Public Accounts Hearing, https://tivnews.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/you-have-failed-pac/
  1. The Daily Post, 2015, “Auditor General’s Office Under Resourced: AG Path”, http://www.dailypost.vu/news/article_95153747-33e7-5a4d-9ee7-3464457c7dcf.html
  1. The Daily Post, 2015, “Whole of government report not true worth of government: AG Path”, http://www.dailypost.vu/news/article_c1fbf8af-271c-59ce-bc2f-088dffd61c38.html

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Concerns of Police Mistreatment In West Ambae

THIS WEEK A member of the Bulubulu Council of Chiefs of West Ambae, approached Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) with details of a concerning incident that happened last week on Wednesday, on the western part of the island of Ambae.

The concerned individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, said early last month that the police officer who resides in their area arrested a traditional doctor without a warrant, he beat him up and locked him in jail overnight.

He said since the beginning of this year this law enforcement officer has been mistreating people in their district without following the proper procedures.

Apparently, accusations were instigated by a group who accused the victim to have tricked young girls into removing their clothes so he can spit traditional leaves on them to cure them of their illnesses.

When the officer heard the rumors he went and arrested and beat the victim without verifying “if the rumors were true”, reported the source.

When the officer released the beat-up victim from the Police Station in the morning, the victim returned to Saratamata where he was selling his traditional medicine.

TIV was told that last Wednesday the victim visited the area and was again beaten up by the same officer.

The concerned leader said that the victim visited the area to conduct a custom ceremony to a family concerning another issue. But after the ceremony he was taken to the officer’s compound near Walaha Airport and again he was beaten up by the officer in front of two witnesses.

After that, the officer told the victim not to tell anyone about what happened and let him go.

The officer has reportedly been beating up suspects in his district and locking them up in the police station since the beginning of this year.

Meanwhile, a team from the Professional Standard Unit visited West Ambae on Tuesday to conduct an awareness program. A member of the community related the story to them and they (PSU) agreed with the community that such practice is against formal police procedures.

TIV understands that the victim is now in Saratamata to report his mistreatment by the police officer to the police authority in Saratamata, East Ambae.

Police officers are delegated with the fundamental responsibilities of protecting the people of Vanuatu, they are also the enforcers of law and order in our communities. The mistreatment of individuals by certain police officers is not a new case, last year TIV reported a similar incident that occurred on Santo. Over the years similar cases have been committed in different communities in both the rural and in the urban areas.

TIV encourages citizens to report the misconducts of police officers to the Professional Standard Unit (PSU), the PSU is a unit within the Vanuatu Police Force tasked with looking into complaints against police behavior or misconducts. The PSU Tel: 23351, Email: policecomplaint@vanuatu.gov.vu