24 Dec 2012

More charges as Tahiti corruption probe widens

12:15 pm on 24 December 2012

The owner of a leading French Polynesian supermarket, Louis Wane, has been charged with corruption after being held for two days for questioning.

This comes amid a widened probe of the affairs of a New Caledonian businessman, Bill Ravel, who has been in jail for nearly two months as investigators try to piece together his company's financial transactions.

Central to the case so far have been payments to a leading unionist, Cyril Legayic, who is alleged to have been paid money to keep the social peace at Mr Ravel's Tahiti businesses.

Media in Papeete report that Mr Wane is also suspected of having paid Mr Legayic money for similar reasons although Mr Legayic has reportedly claimed that the money was a loan.

Mr Legayic and one of Mr Ravel's associates have been in jail since late October.