Why police arrested Temotu leaders - Solomon Star News

Why police arrested Temotu leaders

31 December 2018
Police Commissioner Matthew Varley speaking to the local media during a press conference on Friday.

Police say three Temotu leaders arrested before Christmas improperly accepted inducements or payments for considerations or decisions in their official capacity.

The trio are the current member for Tikopia and Anuta Ward 16 Bradley Tau, current member for Nangu Ward 12, Fr Brown Beu, and former provincial secretary Samuel Kafukesa.

Police arrested and charge them on three different occasions.

Tau was arrested on 14 December 2018 in relation to his alleged acceptance of corrupt payments when he was the premier.

Beu was arrested on 21 December 2018 for the same allegation, when he was the Minister for Natural Resources of Temotu Province, while Kafukesa was arrested on 18 December 2018 for similar allegations.

Police Commissioner Matthew Varley said the charges stem from a complex investigation by the RSIPF Fraud Squad of the National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) into a Timber Rights Acquisition and a Transfer of Grant of Profit of two Perpetual Estates on Santa Cruz Island dated back to 2015-2016.

He said police will allege that the trio improperly accepted inducements or payments for considerations or decisions in their official capacity, which resulted in the corrupt transfer of Grant of Profit and Acquisition of Timber Rights to a logging company.

It is estimated that they received between $20,000 to $100,000 worth of allowances, transport and accommodation.

The three men have appeared before the Eastern Magistrates Court at Lata and were granted bail with strict conditions and a cash bail.

Commissioner Varley acknowledges the efforts of the RSIPF Fraud Squad and the assistance of Lata Police and the members of the public to assist with this investigation.

He said the investigation is continuing and the men will next return to court on 11 January 2019.