Milne Bay MP under investigation


A MP is under investigation for allegedly ordering his relatives to confiscate about K1 million worth of sea cucumbers from a Vietnamese boat in Milne Bay last week, police said yesterday.
Police commander Chief Superintendent Joseph Morehari said the boat used in the alleged harvesting was impounded by police on Samarai Island last Wednesday.
“The MP ordered his relatives to ransack the boat and confiscated 18 drums of sea cucumbers and other valuable equipment on that boat,” Morehari said.
“So the relatives used the boat donated by the MP, which was bought  with public funds, to go over to the Vietnamese boat, ransack it and transport the loot on the boat to their villages.”
Morehari said teachers from the Ware Community School on the way to Alotau in a dinghy saw three Vietnamese boats harvesting sea cucumbers at Domiling Island in the Samarai-Murua electorate.
“They reported the matter to the police and police, with the help of locals, gave chase and apprehended only one boat while the other two escaped,” he said.
“The boat with 14 crew members was then escorted to Samarai Island and detained there when it was raided by the MP’s relatives.”
Morehari said the Vietnamese and the MP’s boats were brought to Alotau and were impounded at Sanderson Bay.
Meanwhile, Morehari has called on the people not to take the law into their own hands to seize foreign boats illegally finishing.
“There are rumours that proceeds from foreign boats caught with the sea cucumbers harvested illegally were not given to the provincial government. That is wrong,” he said.
“All the proceeds are given to the provincial government by the National Fisheries Authority and that must be observed.”

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