13 Jul 2007

US report links Solomons crime against westerners to politics

2:11 pm on 13 July 2007

A US report says robbery of Westerners in Solomon Islands may be politically motivated.

The US Overseas Security Advisory Council says there have been isolated incidents of Western tourists who have been the victim of robbery and harassment and these events may have tenuous links to present political tensions.

It says the present Solomons government seeks to reduce the role of RAMSI and has a number of contentions with its current model.

It also says Papua New Guinea continues to be unable to deal with serious crime.

The report says criminal activities associated with Asian organised crime in Papua New Guinea include undervaluation of imported goods, tax evasion, and illegal immigration.

It says there are documented incidents of Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary police committing beatings, sexual assault and torture against citizens in Papua New Guinea, and the organisation has a poor record of punishing officers implicated in these abuses.

It says in sharp contrast, Vanuatu was ranked the most fulfilling place to live and by correlation, the incidence of crime is very low.