2 May 2008

Vanuatu police raid finance centre offices

3:53 pm on 2 May 2008

The Vanuatu Police Force has raided the offices of a number of prominent members of the Finance Centre Association and locked them down.

The Vanuatu Daily Post says there have also been raids on a number of private residencies in Port Vila

The paper reports that police, in a joint operation with the Australian Federal Police, and Australian Securities and Investment Commission, raided offices including PKF, George Vasaris & Co, Moores Rowland and Equity Bank .

The newspaper understands nine search warrants have been issued but police have given no further details over which cases they all refer to.

VMF Commissioner, Patu Navoko Lui, says the search warrants relate to allegations of highly organized and large scale money laundering activities in three countries.

He says the allegations stem from three major investigations conducted by the Australian Federal Police and one investigation by the Australian Crime Commission.