30 Jul 2012

Vanuatu opposition calls for PM's resignation

10:36 am on 30 July 2012

Vanuatu's deputy opposition leader, Edward Natapei is calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Sato Kilman due to his silence over the arrest of a luxury yacht.

Police have searched the mega yacht, the Phocea, in Vila Harbour and found a substance in a plastic bag that they suspect to be opium which is a prohibited drug in Vanuatu.

The Phocea is reported to be owned by Anh Quan Saken, who Vanuatu wants to be the honorary consul to Vietnam.

The Daily Post says Anh Quan Saken also arrived on the yacht and tried to stop Customs, Immigration and Quarantine officials from carrying out their duties.

Mr Saken reportedly claimed there was no need to be check the boat because he was a diplomat and gave lots of money to Vanuatu government ministers.

According to the Vanuatu foreign ministry, Anh Quan Saken's application's for honorary consul is still with the government in Hanoi.

The Daily Post also reports Mr Natapei as saying that he is concerned that government ministers are reported to have boarded the vessels before customs cleared it.

Mr Natapei says if the Prime Minister fails to discipline his Ministers and those other individuals who were already implicated in other cases who were also arrested on the yacht then he should resign immediately.