Investigators Release New Caledonian Business Owner

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Bill Ravel held in Tahiti jail over alleged union corruption

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 31, 2012) – Investigators in French Polynesia have released a leading New Caledonian businessman, Bill Ravel, after holding him in Tahiti’s Nuutania jail for nearly two months.

According to La Depeche de Tahiti, Mr. Ravel remains charged with corruption over his alleged payments to the secretary general of the confederation of independent unions, Cyril Legayic.

Mr. Ravel is alleged to have paid him US$160,000 in cash over four years to contain strikes at his companies in Papeete.

One of Mr. Ravel’s associates, Gaston Tetuanui, as well as Mr. Legayic are about to enter a third month in custody.

The owner of a leading supermarket, Louis Wane, was also charged with corruption this month.

He is accused of having paid Mr. Legayic money for similar reasons although Mr. Legayic has reportedly claimed that the money was a loan.

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