SEA CUCUMBERS A MATTER FOR SOLOMONS’ FISHERIES

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Police commissioner offers assistance only if requested

By Jeremy Inifiri

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 23, 2012) – The Ministry of fisheries is responsible for any fisheries or marine related issues, should it involves any breach or violation of the fisheries act.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) will only step in to provide assistance once requested upon by the Ministry of Fisheries.

Acting Police Commissioner Walter Kola clarified this at a press conference yesterday at the Police headquarters.

Mr. Kola made reference to the beche-de-mer saga extensively covered by the media over the past couple of days.

The beche-de-mer issue had over the past couple of days sparked up a war of words between Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and Opposition Leader Dr Derek Sikua, following the Opposition Leader’s claims last week that he (Sikua) has evidences of a stock of almost 150-200 tones of beche-de-mer worth millions of dollars, secretly planned by certain people including police and government officials to be exported.

Prime Minister Lilo responded calling on the Opposition Leader to hand over the evidences he claimed to have had to responsible authorities such as the Police and authorities from the Ministry of Fisheries.

Acting Commissioner Kola however yesterday said that Police will only be involved in such matters once requested by authorities from the Ministry of Fisheries.

"Any matter concerning fisheries or marine that breaches or violates the fisheries act is to be dealt with the authorities from the Ministry of Fisheries.

"All investigations will be conducted by them.

"All reports, documents, complaints relating to any breaching or violating of the fisheries act will be submitted to authorities from the Ministry.

"Police will only play a supportive role once requested upon by authorities from the Ministry of Fisheries," Acting Commissioner Kola said.

Meanwhile the acting Police Commissioner also confirmed that his office has now received the case file of the alleged misuse of the tsunami funds from investigators.

He said that that he will be reviewing the file before consulting the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice before taking the matter further.

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