Vanuatu daily news digest | 17 November 2014

Daily Post leads today with the "Benford Funds" which were held by European Bank having to be released to the US Federal Trade Commission acting for the victims of a fraud. A May judgement of the Supreme Court was upheld in the Appeal Court on Friday. The fraud committed by one Kenneth Taves resulted in millions of credit card victims being cheated of small amounts of money and 7-million dollars of the proceeds of this crime lodged with European Bank in Port Vila. Kenneth Taves is serving an 11-year gaol term in the United States over the crime. Suggestions that the Republic should seize the funds were refused as "taking the money would do nothing to deter people like Taves who may use this country to try and hide stolen property."

Front page in Daily Post today also sees eviction notices going to residents on VNPF land around the Mango area of Luganville. This is the former Milae Ltd land. Some 15 families are likely to be affected. Residents blame the Luganville Municipal Council (LMC) and former leaders for allowing settlement there. Some families even paid municipal building permits to construct their houses.

Radio Vanuatu News understood this morning that MP parliamentary allocations will be amongst the items to be considered in the second ordinary ("budget") sitting for 2014 starting tomorrow. There will be a ceremonial opening presided by the new Head of State, Fr Baldwin Lonsdale.

PM Natuman insisted the new hospital departments must receive adequate maintenance when he participated in the opening of the new buildings, VBTC reported. Maintenance should not be a problem in a world-class facility such as we now have, he said. Japanese aid has enabled the building of the new theatre, laboratories and Outpatients Department.

Chinese aid is coming next month to upgrade the South Tanna and North Malekula roads Raymond Nasse reports to Post from China. The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation will undertake the project.