19 Aug 2009

Investigators search Tahiti bank in OPT probe

1:36 pm on 19 August 2009

Reports from French Polynesia say investigators have searched the vaults of the Socredo Bank in Papeete as part of an investigation into alleged corruption and abuse of public funds in the running of the state-owned OPT telecommunications company.

The search was carried out in the presence of the former OPT head, Geffry Salmon, who was taken to the bank from the Tahiti jail where he has been held for several month as part of the probe.

The reports say the investigators wanted to check on Mr Salmon's personal belongings deposited at the bank.

A month ago, the territory's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, was questioned by police in France over the OPT affair.

Mr Flosse is alleged to have received kickbacks of about two million US dollars from a French advertising executive for granting public sector contracts during his time as President of French Polynesia.