2 May 2012

Vanuatu adviser arrested in transit in Australia

11:49 am on 2 May 2012

A senior adviser to the Prime Minister of Vanuatu has been arrested at Sydney Airport for an alleged international tax scam.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Clarence Marae was travelling with the Prime Minister, Sato Kilman, on an official trip to Israel when he was detained in transit last Friday.

Mr Marae was transferred to Brisbane on Monday and appeared before the Magistrates Court to reappear on May the 16th.

The newspaper says the arrest is connected to the joint operation Project Wickenby, run predominantly by the Australian Taxation Office, which is cracking down on Australians using Vanuatu as a tax haven.