Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates – 16 Jan 2017: Fiji, Vanuatu, PNG

These updates are provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Anti-Corruption Project for Southeast Asia, and the joint UNODC - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, with support of the Australian Government.

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Kamlesh Arya’s plea deferred to the 8th of next month.  The plea for former politician and Registrar of the University of Fiji, Kamlesh Arya, will now be taken on the 8th of next month.
Final FICAC witness in Tikoca’s case reveals money was transferred from PNG to Brisbane.  The final prosecution witness in Ratu Isoa Tikoca’s case has told the Suva Magistrates Court that he received sourced documents showing that there was money transferred from the bank account of the Fiji High Commission in PNG to St Joseph’s Nangi College in Brisbane, Australia.
Azerbaijan blacklists four Pacific offshore centres.  Four Pacific Island countries have been identified by Azerbaijan as financial offshore centres from where no company can operate in the country's securities market.
Tuiono pleads not guilty to corruption related charges.  A Land Transport Authority officer William Pawa Tuiono who is charged with 6 counts of unauthorised modification of data, 2 counts of abuse of office and 1 count of bribery has pleaded not guilty to his charges.
Rice farmers allege corrupt deals by field officer.  AgricultureMinister Inia Seruiratu has called on rice farmers on Vanua Levu not to hesitate in reporting corrupt officers to their headquarters in Labasa.
FICAC cases.  General dishonesty causing a loss and abuse of office are extensive across the private sectors in Fiji, the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) revealed.

Vanuatu facing economic sanctions over inaction on money laundering.  A Pacific analyst has warned that Vanuatu is possibly only weeks away from being blacklisted by the OECD's Financial Action Task Force.
No Notification of Blacklisting.  Vanuatu has not received any formal notification from oil-rich Azerbaijan, a country situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe, which appears to have blacklisted Vanuatu amongst other offshore financial centres.

PM O'Neill Warns Opposition not to Tarnish Constitutional Offices.  The Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill  has cautioned the Opposition Leader saying that he must respect the Electoral Commission as a Constitutional Office of the nation, and not try to drag it into politics.

For more information about the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, please contact:
Maria Adomeit, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, UNODC,
Mihaela Stojkoska, Anti-Corruption Specialist - Pacific, UNDP,
Luisa Senibulu, Governance Programme Associate, UNDP/UNODC,
Samita Singh, Programme Assistant - Anti-Corruption, UNDP/UNODC,

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