New Caledonia Removal Company Fraud Case Deferred

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Reportedly overcharged French defense ministry

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 22, 2016) – New Caledonia's criminal court has deferred a case of alleged fraud by removal companies which reportedly overcharged the French defence ministry.

The charges relate to the moving expenses claimed by about 600 military staff in 2011 and 2012.

The public broadcaster says while eight companies have been charged, their lawyers have denounced the procedure, saying none of the military personnel involved has been summoned.

The allegations have been that the bills for the removal costs of French police and military personnel were frequently inflated.

In return, it is claimed, the companies offered the military personnel rental cars, tablet computers and railway tickets.

The court has adjourned the case until 26 August to collect information about the military personnel concerned.

A probe into the removals was launched following a complaint by one removal company which went out of business while refusing to strike such deals.


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