2 Appear In Vanuatu Court Over Phocea Yacht Charges

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No local officials scheduled for court, despite photographic evidence

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 16, 2012) – The captain of a mega yacht seized in Vanuatu and an American woman will be appearing in the Magistrate’s court in Port Vila later today.

The two were arrested and released on bail last month after police raided the Phocea on suspicion of passport fraud and drugs trading.

They are accused of breaching immigration and customs laws.

Our correspondent Hilaire Bule says despite a photograph showing the foreign minister and the education minister on board the vessel before the raid, no politician has been sanctioned.

"There are only charges laid against the captain of the ship and a lady known as Fabiola for the illegal entry. But as far as we understand, the other people who are involved for example the allegation against our leaders, until today, no charges has been laid against them."

Hilaire Bule says the Prime Minister Sato Kilman returned to Vanuatu from the Olympics, after leaving for London as the opposition’s Edward Natapei was calling for his resignation over the affair.

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