When this disturbing news was initially shared publicly, it seems so far-fetched and seems to be a smear campaign to tarnish the reputation of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
Commissioner of Police Mr. Mostyn Mangau last week during his weekly press conference confirmed that the money disappeared since October last year.
This is certainly a shocking revelation particularly when it appears to be an inside job, it is truly concerning. Transparency Solomon Islands like any other citizen is concerned that this happened within the RSIPF.
The Police are supposed to be a well-respected and disciplined institution, being responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of law and order in this country.
Responsible for the preservation of peace, the protection of life and property, the prevention and detection of crime, and the apprehension of offenders. Officer(s) responsible for this crime definitely brings disrepute and disgrace to the RSIPF and must be charged and dealt with according to the laws that he/she was sworn to uphold and enforce. The RSIPF plays a unique and important role in this country.
In communities throughout the country, police are often the first responders to matters arising – be it a criminal offence or some form of assistance needed, it is a common trend that police are usually the first to be approached. This shows the importance of having the RSIPF in this country – they play the role of the law enforcer, mediator, and every now and again a helping hand in the community. Sadly a few rotten apples within the RSIPF continue to bring disrepute to the RSIPF.
The last people we expect in our society to be accused of stealing and deceiving people are the police given their duties and responsibilities to uphold and implement the laws of this nation for the preservation of peace, ensuring citizens to enjoy a safe environment.
TSI strongly condemned the officer(s) responsible for stealing the money, such conduct must not be accepted and tolerated by such an institution being responsible for the enforcement of our laws. The work of the police is fundamental to the existence of any country to grow its economy and exercising its sovereignty as a nation protecting its citizens from lawlessness and rebellion.
Police plays the important role of implementers of the law to ensure law and order prevails, in order for citizens and businesses to feel safe, a fundamental component to develop this nation. This recent revelation impinges on the trust that the people have in the police. More than $300,000 was confiscated by the successful police operation into the pyramid scheme (Onelink) last year.
Police were applauded for their quick response, regrettably, this money went missing whilst in police custody. Officer(s) involved must be held accountable, their actions tarnish the image of the police force and destroy the reputation that the RSIPF is trying to build.
Transparency Solomon Islands urged the RSIPF to take strong actions against such behavior in order to restore public trust in the police force. Citizens no longer have trust in the police force. TSI understands that this is not the first incident that a police officer(s) stole and mishandle confiscated items kept in police custody.
Because of this recent missing money, there is widespread condemnation by the public of the officers acting outside their duties, police officers being drunk and misbehaving, asking drivers money to bypass traffic laws, stealing vehicles detained by police, and many more criminal actions by officers that have seemingly been swept under the rug and have not been dealt with accordingly. TSI joins other citizens in calling on the RSIPF to swiftly deal with this matter.
Person(s) responsible have no place within the RSIPF and must be charged and duly prosecuted. Whilst TSI acknowledges actions taken thus far by the police in suspending the suspect on half-pay, TSI calls on the police to quickly address this matter as it brings into question the reputation of the force.
It is obvious from citizens uproar on social and print media that the current handling of this matter is seen as a slap on the face of hardworking citizens. $300,000 stolen and only suspend on half-pay while a street boy kept in custody for selling goods along the streets is total injustice to the citizens of Solomon Islands. Strong discipline is needed in the RSIPF.
The weaker police deal with mis-conduct and criminal behavior within the force the more damage it has on the work of the police as law keepers.
Transparency Solomon Islands understands that hundreds of citizens have been victimized by the onelink pyramid scheme. These victims praised the police for work well done when this money was recovered thinking that finally, money being scammed from them will be recovered only to find out that the institution entrusted to protect them cannot be trusted.
The police force is the only hope of this nation to keep and enforce our laws and if they continue to entertain corrupt officers who will steal and accept bribes this is a destruction to the image of the RSIPF.
Transparency Solomon Islands want to cautioned that the public already loses trust in the police force which is a bad indication of a society prone to more social problems.
However, TSI urged the RSIPF and the Minister of Police and the current executive government to get tough on disciplining police officers as no one is above the law, and officers entrusted with the responsibility to enforce the laws must lead by example.
TSI reiterated that the RSIPF must quickly deal with this matter and officer(s) responsible found guilty of stealing the $300,000 must not continue to benefit from public funds – be it half pay or full pay – and must face the full force of the law and be charged accordingly.
By Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI)