30 Oct 2009

French Polynesian notary detained amid flurry of corruption probes

12:10 pm on 30 October 2009

Investigators in French Polynesia have detained a public notary for questioning after searching his office in connection with a probe into a property purchase by the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse.

The notary has been held overnight as has been the director of the Socredo Bank, James Estall, whose private home has also been searched.

Mr Estall is allegedly being investigated for money-laundering.

According to Tahitipresse, investigator have again questioned Mr Flosse's son-in-law, Edouard Fritch, over the OPT affair.

The OPT probe has seen charges being laid against a range of senior figures, including Mr Flosse.

A key suspect, Michel Yonker, has now been released from the Tahiti jail where had been held for six months as part of the inquiries into allegations that large sums of money were given to Mr Flosse's party as kickbacks for public sector contracts.