Breaking news: Senior Vanuatu police officers arrested following “mutiny”

Radio Vanuatu News reports that the Vanuatu Police Force has arrested the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Arthur Caulton Edmanly, and remanded him in custody. The VPF carried out an operation in the early morning yesterday and arrested some senior ranking officers. Commissioner Joshua Bong himself told Radio Vanuatu News that the Deputy Commissioner and other senior ranking officers and the former chairman of the Police Service Commission are detained. From a transcript of the Radio Vanuatu report:

Bong: So far the arrests conducted are of Deputy Commissioner Caulton, former Police Service Commission Chairman Tony Arthur, Commander South Pierre Carlot, and Commander Maritime John Mahlon Taleo, and Ron Tamtam, although the last 2 named remain outside yet.

Radio Vanuatu News: Bong said the operation followed a court order, and that there were reasons for the operation against the senior ranking officers.

Bong: I appeal to everyone in Vanuatu. This is a normal case. The normal work of police will continue, meaning normal patrols, etc. Officers will be providing security. VMF will be carrying out their normal work. I appeal to everyone. The Police are carrying out their normal operations. People should not interfere, or the Police will have to act to stop that interference. If investigations will continue to find out others who might also be involved, they will be dealt with.

Bong: There was a formal complaint which I made as regards the issue I’ve been through. The issue — when an officer of the force tries to remove a senior superior, he is committing a mutiny.

Radio Vanuatu News: The Vanuatu court sat late last night and there will be more news during the day on Radio Vanuatu.

This matter seems to arisen because of the suspension of the Commissioner ending a day or two before the end of his contract. At the very least it will underscore the necessity of Government getting its facts and intentions straight, and clear. Commissioner Bong’s contract ends today.