14 Aug 2012

Emergency talks in Vanuatu over feared pension fund riot

2:59 pm on 14 August 2012

An emergency meeting of the Vanuatu Christian Council and the national, Port Vila and Efate chief councils has called for the immediate suspension of the general manager of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund, Anniva Tarilongi.

They also want all the staff she employed removed.

The groups have written to the finance minister, Moana Carcasses, saying if Mrs Tarilongi is not removed there could be a riot.

This comes amid accusations of nepotism and claims the general manager is paid nearly 100,000 US dollars a year.

Mr Carcasses has ordered the Auditor General to go through the Fund's books.

Meanwhile police have dispersed about 200 members who had been protesting outside the VNPF headquarters.

Angry Fund members rioted in 1998, sparking a state of emergency, when it was believed their money had been borrowed by politicians.