Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (18 August 2017): Fiji, PNG, Tonga, Solomon Islands

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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Judge steps down.  Justice Thushara Rajasinghe has approved an application by 10 lawyers representing former workers of the Public Works Department to recuse himself from the case.
Police and Financial Intelligence Unit investigate cases of fake notes.  Police are working with the Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate cases of fake notes that were discovered in the Eastern and Western Divisions.
Police investigate fake cheques.  Police are investigating separate cases where fake cheques have been used to purchase large amounts of alcohol in the Western division.
Driver held for alleged bribe attempt.  A 26-year-old driver is in custody at the Nausori Police station for allegedly bribing a police officer who was part of a highway team conducting radar operations along the Kings Road near Koronivia.
FICAC to investigate Tui Kalabu's wife.  The Supervisor of Elections has referred a matter to FICAC regarding the Tui Kalabu's wife allegedly threatening some women who are staying on their land to vote for SODELPA.
Don't politicise the issue - Chinese Ambassador.  The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Fiji Zhang Ping says it is important to look at the issue of the arrest of the 77 Chinese nationals objectively.
Dozens of Chinese fraud suspects deported from Fiji arrive handcuffed, in hoods.   Opposition parties and the rights group Amnesty International have raised concerns about the deportation of 77 Chinese nationals from Fiji, following a joint operation between Chinese and Fijian law enforcement agencies.

MPs urged to declare overseas assets.  Members of Parliament who own properties overseas are required by law to declare them to local authorities, according to Ombudsman Richard Pagen.
Baki: I Will Do My Job.  "I urge all the critics to stop being judgmental and give me the benefit of a doubt," says Police Commissioner Gari Baki.
Lands minister says priority is eliminating department corruption.  PNG's new lands minister says his department is corrupt from top to bottom, and cleansing it will be one of his most important tasks.
Police chief dismisses critics calling for PM arrest. Police commissioner Gari Baki has hit back Opposition demands that he stand down for not arresting the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.                                                                                                                        
PNG judge case referred to prosecutor.  PNG's Ombudsman Commission said it referred Supreme Court judge Bernard Sakora to the prosecutor after investigating alleged breaches of his duties and responsibilities.
Transparency PNG warns against too much close cooperation with Chinese police.  A statement by Papua New Guinea's Police Commissioner congratulating Fiji and China on the removal of 77 Chinese citizens from Fiji at the weekend has been criticised by an anticorruption NGO.
PNG corruption a serious problem says Transparency International Chairman.  The head of the global anti-corruption organisation Transparency International says corruption in Papua New Guinea is a major challenge.
Judge case referred to prosecutor.  A Papua New Guinea Supreme Court judge has been referred to the country's public prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.
PNG Police chief to invite PM for interview.  PNG's Police Commissioner says he will invite prime minister Peter O'Neill to come in for an interview over fraud allegations.

Tongan government accused of collecting tax illegally.  The government of Tonga has come under fire in parliament for what some MPs say is the illegal collection of revenue from a levy and a tax that were brought in to raise funds for the 2019 Pacific Games.
Man arrested for dealing forged documents.  A 43-year-old man from Kolofo'ou has been charged with using forged documents to obtain two passports.

Lusibaea wants PM probed.  ParliamentMember of North Malaita Hon Jimmy Lusibaea calls for on an enquiry into the shipping grant received by the Prime Minister Manesseh Sogavare who is also MP of East Choiseul.

To know more about the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project please contact the team members:
Maria Adomeit, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, UNODC,
Mihaela Stojkoska, Anti-Corruption Specialist - Pacific, UNDP,
Maria Lee, Peace & Development Administrative Assistant, UNDP/UNODC,

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