20 Aug 2015

Solomons defrauded of millions - Dettke

1:48 pm on 20 August 2015
Bodo Dettke

Bodo Dettke Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

The outgoing Minister of Forests in Solomon Islands says the Government has been defrauded of $US62 million in export duties and withholding tax.

Bodo Dettke, who was moved from the post to the Tourism portfolio earlier this week, says the money should have been paid to Customs and Inland Revenue.

Since Mr Dettke's claim the government has announced it will set up a taskforce and says it could appoint a Parliamentary Special Select Committee to investigate what it says is an allegedly serious breach of the country's laws.

The government also says there will be independent investigations into alleged underpayments by logging companies undertaken by the new Foresty Minister, Bart Parapolo.

The logging industry makes up more than half of the Solomons' economy.