Police Urge Acting Vanuatu Official ‘Not To Mislead’ Public

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Officers allege acting Staff Chief avoiding arrest warrant

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 17, 2012) – Suspended police officers in Vanuatu are urging the Acting Chief of Staff, Ron Tamtam, not to mislead the general public with its new releases through the office of the Acting Police Commissioner.

They said the Acting Chief to Staff who is the right hand person to the Acting Police Commissioner, should be able to understand his immediate role which is to protect the integrity of this high office. They said Tamtam has to ensure that information that comes out from this high office is reliable, accurate and not misleading.

These suspended police officers have issued this statement following an article published by the Daily Post  Saturday 13 October, 2012, in which Tamtam claimed that his arrest and that of the Acting Commissioner of Police, Arthur Caulton, and others, were done with the armed police officers – "that information was untrue."

Tamtam also claimed in the article that junior police officers have no powers to arrest senior police officers, which the suspended officers say this information is also misleading.

Suspended police officers explained that any warrant of arrest that is issued by a court of law, gives powers to any police officers to execute the arrest as no one is above the law.

They said that as the current acting chief of staff, Tamtam should ensure that all the information is accurate and not defamatory before releasing it to the public.

Suspended police officers also ask the Daily Post and other local media in Vanuatu to always verify their information before it can be released to the public.

Suspended police officers also urged for an urgent investigation into Mr. Ron Tamtam’s accommodation at Benjor resort. They said he has been hiding there following the court warrant to arrest him.

It is believed that Tamtam’s invoices by Benjor were charged to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for payment.

"This is a clear example of misappropriation of public funds, therefore the government should consider the matter seriously as this was a private arrangement that had nothing to do with the police duties," the suspended police officer said.

"We are urging the Transparency International Vanuatu and the Ombudsman’s Office to urgently undertake an investigation into this matter, as we believe there are more related cases as such that need to be addressed, and disciplinary measures need to be taken."

The Vanuatu police force is a disciplined institution and its officers should lead by example.

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