AS many as 26 former Members of Parliament (MP) in the last House are under active police investigation, with the arrest of two being imminent, sources close to the police investigation have revealed.
They say this is part a clean-up campaign being waged by new Police Commissioner, Frank Prendergast, who declared upon taking up office recently that leadership in the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is his number one priority.
These former MPs are being investigated for serious allegations of gross misuse of public funds,” the sources said.
“Two face arrests shortly. One of them is a caretaker minister in Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo’s government and the other was an ordinary MP but a powerful one,” one source said.
It is understood police had been sitting on these investigations for months because of political interference.
“Now that the House has been dissolved and a change in leadership at the top of the RSIPF, the cases would now move forward,” the source said.
It is also understood that police officers who carried out the initial investigation would also face the music as to why they had sat on the cases.
Police investigations follow numerous complaints by Constituents that despite tens of millions of dollars in grants MPs received on their behalf there was little or nothing to show for them.
In the 2012 financial year, for example, official figures show MPs shared a total $145 million in grants.
Officials point out that these are recorded figures only as MPs, particularly government ministers received far lot more.
Figures released by the Ministry of Rural Development, the conduit for processing MPs’ applications for project funding, show the Ministry paid $6 million a year to each of the 50 Constituencies in the last four years.
By ALFRED SASAKO