8 Jul 2003

More Vanuatu police suspended by new commissioner

4:04 pm on 8 July 2003

Vanuatu's police commissioner, Robert Deniro Obed, has suspended his acting commander in Luganville pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct and abuse of authority.

The suspension of chief inspector Robert Boe follows the recent suspension of his superior, the former Luganville commander, Willie Samuel.

The police chief of staff, Ara Maralau, says Mr Boe was suspended because he irresponsibly allowed Mr Samuel to use a police car while he was suspended.

Mr Samuel later crashed the vehicle.

Major Maralau also says Mr Boe had allegedly used money belonging to a Chinese businessman, which police had recovered from thieves.

The missing money has since been repaid.

Major Maralau has told the Vanuatu Daily Post that the suspensions are normal and he says the officers will have every opportunity to defend themselves before the Police Services Commission.

Commissioner Deniro Obed has suspended nearly 20 officers for various offences since he assumed command of the police earlier this year.