13 Oct 2006

Vanuatu asked for help in recovering money stolen from one of its offshore banks

6:24 pm on 13 October 2006

An international receiver has appealed to the Vanuatu government for co-operation in attempts to recover stolen money from an offshore bank based in the country.

Robb Evans & Associates has been tasked by the US Federal Court to recover money stolen from international investors through credit card fraud, dating back six years.

8 million US dollars of it was transferred from the European Bank in the Cayman Islands, which has now been closed, to the European Bank in Vanuatu.

The company's director Robb Evans says attempts to discuss recovering the money with the Bank and the Vanuatu government have been continually stonewalled, while the matter just festers in litigation:

"Litigation can be used to facilitate the matter or delay the matter. So far it's just been used to delay the matter. And so we'd like to be able to sit down with the Vanuatu government and find a quick and easy solution to this that would be to their benefit as well as get the money back in the hands of the victims."

Robb Evans says Vanuatu's lack of co-operation is in contrast to most governments who are keen to solve such matters given all the international attention on money laundering issues and terrorist financing.