HONIARA HOTEL MANAGER ON LAM AFTER FOILED THEFT

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By Robert L. Iroga

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 2) - A former manager of one of Honiara’s premier hotels fled the Solomon Islands in rush after an alleged failed attempt to transfer SBD$537,000 [US$76,000] into his personal account in a local bank.

Ni-Vanuatu Nick Issachar who was the manager of King Solomon Hotel was alleged to have attempted to transfer more than half a million dollars worth of checks on December 19 into his personal account with Westpac Banking Cooperation in Honiara.

Owner of the King Solomon Hotel Shane Kennedy said when the bank realized that the personal check was substantial they contacted him.

"When they told me he had quite a large check I told them to hang on," Kennedy told the Solomon Star yesterday.

According to Kennedy, Issachar claimed that the SBD$537,000 was a bonus payment, which the owner denied.

Kennedy claims his swift action avoided the funds being transferred into Issachar’s personal account.

He said the bank then froze the check two days later, as well as Issachar’s signatures.

Issachar was also locked out of his office and only allowed to remove his personal items.

He fled Honiara on December 20th.

Kennedy claimed that police confiscated SBD$8,500 [US$1,211] worth of CDs from the hotel on the day he departed.

Police said an investigation is continuing into an attempted fraud since it was reported on January 12.

They said it is too early to predict a likely outcome.

Issachar was in charge of the accounts when the hotel was under the previous owners and when Kennedy took over few years ago he was promoted to manage the hotel.

Meanwhile Kennedy alleged that the Ni-Vanuatu had also removed very valuable properties from the hotel to his native Vanuatu just before his failed attempted transfer of money.

The owner further claimed that Issachar had also removed hotel properties and gave it to his friends. The properties were later retrieved.

Attempts to get Issachar to comment were unsuccessful as he could not be located in Vanuatu.

February 3, 2006

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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