Friday, 22 August 2008 8:48 AM

Vanuatu Police Foil Attempted Coup

There has been a report from Vanuatu that local police there managed to foil an attempted coup which would have destabilized the country's national security.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported that reliable sources from the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) 'have revealed that investigations are underway into an attempted coup that almost crippled the highest level of command within the VPF'.

'A Daily Post source remarked that: "If that had happened, it would have not only destabilized the force but the highest level of national security would have been disrupted"'.

'Daily Post was informed that the attempt to take over the highest command of the Vanuatu Police Force eventuated after an audit report from the Auditor General's office revealed that the Vanuatu Police Force was paying for electricity and water bills at the residence of the Police Commissioner when the bills should have been paid personally by the Police Commissioner Louis Patu as per his employment contract'.

According to the report, this procedure was overlooked by the Corporate Service Unit which 'ignited feelings of discontentment among high-ranking officers leading to a complaint lodged with the Police Service Commission'.

'Daily Post was told there were plans to make sure that the Police Commissioner was removed from office' and 'also included the removal of five high-ranking officers who have been in Acting positions - an agenda that was revealed as the main reason for the attempted coup'.

'Daily Post was told that a meeting between the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Leonard Bule and the office of the Police Commissioner over the weekend eased some pressure resulting in the Police Commissioner seeking legal advice from the State Law Office on how best to handle the issue within his own office'.