Confidence tricksters posing as agents for the seasonal worker schemes in New Zealand and Australia have duped people out of Vt 11 million, reports the Daily Post on its front cover today. The two alleged fraudsters, identified only as Mele area residents “Tom” and “Rosie” may have collected as much as VT 11 million from ni-Vanuatu who believed the two to be agents for New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme and Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP). Daily Post does not tell us whether the alleged fraudsters have been charged with an offence, but notes that the penalty for such an offence is a pitiful vt100,000 and/or three months imprisonment. Labour Commissioner Lionel Kaluat appeals to members of the public to check with the Labour Department’s Employment Services Unit on 29937 to confirm if they are approved agents before handing over any money.
Unfortunately, despite the prominent position given by the Daily Post to this story, it fails to tell us who the legitimate agents for the two schemes are. According to workreadyvanuatu.com, the official website for both the Australian and NZ schemes, the approved agents are:
- Daniel Dempsey, Empower Workforce Recuitment
- Stanley Alick, Melanesian Business Estates and Consultant Services
- Daddley Wisil, Siltan Seasonal Workers Solution
- Annette Mial, Sunbeam Seasonal Workers Vanuatu
Full details for the agents can be found on the Work Ready Vanuatu website.
FM Station Capital 107 will continue to broadcast, it says, while management issues are sorted out with Government. Prime Minister Sato Kilman announced yesterday the station must close as it had not paid its licence fees for 2011 and 2012. The station is continuing to operate with legal advice, “owing to their commitment to their listeners.”
The Minister of Fisheries is extending the ban on bêche-de-mer (sea cucumber) harvesting until January 2018 on the recommendation of the Fisheries Department. Director Moses Amos says that even after five years of harvesting bans, many species are still not reproducing well, so the ban must be extended a further five years.