VANUATU LIVESTOCK COMPANY MANAGER ACCUSED OF WASTING HALF A MILLION DOLLARS

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (July 23, 1999 – Radio Australia)---Vanuatu's Ombudsman has found that the former management of the government-owned Vanuatu Livestock Development company destroyed it by wasting or misusing almost half a million dollars.

The Ombudsman has recommended that the former manager never again be considered for public appointment, Vanuatu's Attorney General and police force should consider legal action against him.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports.

"Vanuatu's Ombudsman, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson, has found that over a 19 month period in the early 1990s, the Manager of the Vanuatu Livestock Development company, Selwyn Leodoro, could not account for, or spent in dubious ways, a total of 34 million Vatu.

"She said that before Mr. Leodoro's appointment the company's operation was regarded as a model farm, but that he gave away its cattle or sold them cheaply and, when he was eventually suspended, the company was left with virtually no money in the bank, very few cattle and dilapidated assets.

"She said Mr. Leodoro had no agricultural or farming qualifications but had gotten the job because he was the brother-in-law of a then Government minister.

"Sean Dorney, Port Vila."

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