Marshall Islands cheque forgery problems highlighted

12:46 pm on 2 February 2017

The Marshall Islands parliament has again been urged to bring in laws to stop cheque forgeries by government workers.

The Marshall Islands Nitijela or parliament

The Marshall Islands Nitijela or parliament Photo: RNZI/Hilary Hosia

The Auditor General Junior Patrick said his office was investigating several reports of government cheque forgeries and abuse of public office.

He was delivering his report to the Nitijela this week which includes audits of government agencies and local governments.

The Auditor General's Office received 17 allegations of illegal activity by government workers early last year, mostly forgery of government cheques.

Another six new allegations related to cheque forgeries and abuse of public office were received in the last half of the year.

High Court records show only two people were charged for cheque forgery or abuse of public office in 2016.

Mr Patrick has repeatedly urged the parliament to enact legislation directed at cheque forgeries, and in this week's report again asked for a "new mechanism, in the form of laws" to get control of the problem.

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