FLOSSE SECRETARY JAILED AMID TAHITI PROBE

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French Polynesia case involves alleged fraud

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 2, 2009) – Melba Ortas, a longtime Flosse secretary, has reportedly been sent to the Nuutania jail in Tahiti. She had been previously held for two days and being questioned by a judge.

[PIR editor's note: Gaston Flosse is a French Polynesia politician who was a long serving President of the French territory. He currently leads the Tahoeraa huiraatira party.]

This new development occurs amid a fraud probe in French Polynesia's OPT (Office des Postes et Télécommunications).

Police first raided Tuesday afternoon the office of Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa huiraatira party in Papeete.

The staff in the office was prohibited to communicate with any person outside during the search.

Former OPT and Air Tahiti Nui CEO Geffry Salmon is also detained in the Nuutania jail for the same investigation.

The chief executive of the French 2H advertising company, Hubert Haddad, has also been jailed in Tahiti over alleged corruption.

Haddad was arrested in Paris at the end of May and has been flown to French Polynesia.

The investigation focuses on the links between Haddad's advertising company and the OPT phone book.

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