8 Jan 2014

Solomons' Temotu police poised to arrest priest over vandalism

2:37 pm on 8 January 2014

Police in Solomon Islands' Temotu province are set to arrest an Anglican priest over vandalism of machinery and vehicles owned by loggers on Vanikoro Island on Boxing Day.

The provincial commander, Alfred Uiga, says there is sufficient evidence to lay charges against the priest, Patterson Nibeo, for instructing fellow landowners to damage equipment belonging to a Malaysian logging company.

Initial estimates of the damage caused amount to almost 140,000 US dollars.

Mr Uiga says officers are on their way to Vanikoro to arrest Mr Nibeo, which is a difficult situation for police.

"Because it deals with somebody like an Anglican priest who is supposed to set some good example for people out there in the community. But somehow he do the opposite."

Alfred Uiga says four other men will also be arrested and another is already in police custody.