28 Sep 2013

Solomons Bank denounces newspaper report on Indonesia transaction

6:05 am on 28 September 2013

The Solomon Islands Central Bank is denouncing a report in the country's main newspaper claiming the reimbursement of the prime minister's controversial recent visit to Indonesia was not paid by that country.

Earlier this month the bank told Radio New Zealand International that 171,000 US dollars, the cost of Gordon Darcy Lilo's trip, was deposited by Indonesia but it was unable to give details of the transaction.

Friday's Solomon Star newspaper reports that a source familiar with the payment claims it came from an unidentified benefactor, not Indonesia, and has been locked away in a suspense account.

The manager of the international department at the Central Bank, Ali Homelo, says that is completely untrue and that the money was banked but only the beneficiary is allowed to give details of the transaction.

He says the beneficiary is the Solomon Islands government - which has always said Indonesia paid it the money.