27 May 2011

Vanuatu government says Luganville baby's death and police search not linked

9:59 am on 27 May 2011

Vanuatu's Minister of Finance says an investigation into the death of a Luganville baby alleged to have resulted from a police search has found no connection between the two events.

Moana Kalosil Carcasses says police searched the premises of the Luganville-based Nothern Islands Stevedoring Company last week as part of what Mr Carcasses says is a criminal investigation into misappropriation of funds.

The company's chief executive says the baby's mother was waiting to take her daughter to hospital in a copra truck whose driver was detained during the search and that the baby died as a result of the delay.

But Mr Carcasses says that's not the case.

"The statement made by the CEO of NISCOL is totally a lies. We have actually a sworn statement from the driver that drove to NISCOL, there were never a baby inside. And we found out from the family that the baby was carried from the areas directly to the hospital. They never went to the NISCOL area."