Breaking news: Suspended head of Police Transnational Crime Unit breaks his silence

The Independent newspaper today has an excellent interview with the suspended head of the Fraud Squad, Inspector Andrew Kalman. Kalman gives a little more detail of the on-board Phocea party involving Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot, another minister, a senior inspector of the police and staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the yacht not yet having cleared Customs and Immigration at the time.

Kalman is quite rightly upset at being suspended when he had been asked to obtain the search warrant and lead the raid on the vessel. He is cross that while he has been suspended, the Police Inspector on the ship illegally has not been disciplined, nor has the one who stamped arrival cards for certain people at the airport instead of at the immigration department, as is legally required.

Also of interest is Pascal Vu Anh Quan Saken, the party host and a ringleader of the ‘illegal entry’ sailing ship scam, receiving his diplomatic passport just six days before the raid. In Tonga? The Tongan and Samoan who have pleaded not guilty to citizenship offences had already received theirs in February in the prior citizenship and passports scam.

Inspector Kalman knew all about the ship before it left Tonga. He advised Commissioner Arthur Caulton to expect illegal activities and they happened as predicted. However, Internal Affairs Minister George Wells took him off the case and suspended him, and Kalman is lodging a strong official complaint at the interference.

As the raid began, erstwhile ‘Vanuatu’ businessman—now Vanuatu ‘Excellency’ Saken—terminated the skipper of the Phocea. The skipper, on his way out claimed Minister Carlot had already cleared the yacht and taken items ashore without clearance. Saken took his diplomatic passport—and probably the red diplomatic bag (full of diplomatic passports to flog, perhaps?) and flew away as the Vanuatu ‘Honorary’ Consul to Vietnam, without bothering to take his girlfriend, who obstructed the police aboard the Phocea. Is she a Vanuatu citizen? Is she still in custody? At least there are plenty of other and local criminals in this case who can still be arrested. Must be. And the Government must not meddle any more. It has done far too much harm already. We have a very capable Force.

Both Radio Vanuatu News and The Independent carried the news that  Prime Minister Sato Kilman has prevented Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot from making diplomatic appointments. Not before time. The Opposition says such appointments were actually made on board the ship.