23 Aug 2002

Vanuatu company owner accused of passing counterfiet money

10:27 am on 23 August 2002

In Vanuatu, an Australian investor has spent a night in jail in Port Vila this week after he was allegedly caught with counterfeit money hidden in his shoes.

The man, who owns an import/export company was arrested after his girlfriend tried to buy a pizza with four fake 1,000 vatu notes.

Police say the man was later searched at the police station and notes worth four hundred dollars were found.

The man has been released but the southern regional police commander, Eric Pakoa, says he will face prosecution.

The public had been alerted by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu that counterfeit money was circulating after a number of the notes were discovered by the commercial banks.

And Mr Pakoa has warned the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority, the national body which screens all investors applications, to dig deep into the backgrounds of all applicants to make sure that criminals are barred from entering the country.