Self-styled king jailed in French Polynesia

12:09 pm on 2 February 2017

The criminal court in French Polynesia has given the self-styled king of the Pakumotu republic a nine-month jail sentence for circulating a fake currency.

Athanase Teiri distributed the so-called patu as part of his claim that it would be replacing the French Pacific franc.

The court also sentenced two men working as his guards to two years in prison for threatening police with firearms when they tried to prevent the arrest of Teiri three years ago.

The two discharged their rifles but nobody was hurt.

The pair have also been told to pay $US2700 to two officers who were threatened.

Local media reports said the other 18 policemen involved in the operation were to be given one cent each as compensation although they each sought $US2700 in damages for the stress caused.

The Pakumotu group had been defying the French state for years by purporting to have its own government.

Three years ago, a woman belonging to the group was given a two-month jail sentence for trying to pay for petrol with a 100 patu note.

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