2 Jul 2009

Flosse secretary detained by French police in Tahiti fraud probe

6:05 pm on 2 July 2009

Police in French Polynesia have detained the long-time personal secretary of the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, amid a fraud probe involving the state-owned OPT telecommunications company.

Tahitipresse reports that Melba Ortas had been held for two days and after being questioned by a judge, she was transferred to Tahiti's jail suspected of a range of offences.

This comes as French security officials this week raided the office of Mr Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, sealing the premises and prohibiting those at the office to communicate with anybody outside for the duration of the search.

Melba Ortas' detention is the latest in a string of arrests of high profile individuals, including the former OPT head and Air Tahiti Nui boss, Geffry Salmon.

He is in jail as is a French company executive, Hubert Haddad, who was transferred to the Tahiti after being arrested in France in May.