Matanga: Bech de mer is still a priority - Solomon Star News

Matanga: Bech de mer is still a priority

24 May 2014

Acting Police Commissioner Juanita Matanga has maintained high conduct on putting the bech de mer issue as a national priority.

Denying putting the issue as minor by re-tracking to the recent riot and looting as immediate issue needed to address first.

“We have a team of investigators carrying out investigation that has been working together with the Ministry of Fisheries.

“But at the moment, we are just doing operational activities and not with other police businesses,” said Matanga.     

She explained all such issues are of concern to police however when situations like the recent looting arises, we will ensure to prioritize key areas.

“Police understands the concerns but the need to assess the risks associate to be also noted important, on which police have refocused on operation matters this week.”

The commissioner however was reluctant to comment on political influence in the bech de mer issue.

In parliament this week, fisheries minister Alfred Ghiro declined to parliament members’ involvement causing the delay of investigation.

But confirmed the ministry know the identities of the people who stole the consignment.

He also said the stolen consignment has not left the country.

“According to fisheries ministry it never left the country. If it does then we’ll know, unless they did it through an avenue we’re not aware of, but I am not sure whether it still in the country or not, but according to the Ministry we know that it hasn’t left the country.”

The beche-de-mer consignment weighed at one-thousand five-hundred and ninety-eight kilograms is believed to worth millions.

The consignment was stolen from the Ministry’s compound in October last year by some men believed to be sent by certain Members of Parliament.

By Bradford Theonomi