Consul General Office still closed, awaiting flight investigation findings

The office of Vanuatu’s Consul General in Noumea, New Caledonia (NC), is still closed, awaiting the findings of the investigation into the cargo flight with 18 passengers last month.

This was conveyed by the Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kalfau Kaloris. DG Kaloris said the ministry is waiting for findings of the report that will determine the Consul General’s implication in the flight probe.

He said he hopes that the investigation be completed quickly.

Consul General Serge Alain Mahe was suspended on October 29 with the Director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Abraham Nasak.

Nasak’s suspension was made by the Public Service Commission (PSC). Both are suspended on full pay pending allegations into the matter.

Acting Secretary of PSC, Jane Bani, said a panel appointed by PSC has been investigating allegations against the NDMO Director.

The report is expected to be receive by PSC next week, she said.

Upon receiving the report, PSC will consider it and give time for the suspended Director to respond before making a final decision, she said.

She added that it takes 21 working days to complete investigation on allegations raised against any public servants under the PSC procedure.

When confirming the flight probe to media, the Minister of Climate Change, Bruno Leingkon, said PSC was tasked by the Council of Ministers (COM) to summon members of the COVID-19 Task Force and find out why the flight intended for cargo brought in passengers.

The flight arrived on October 22. Of the 18 passengers that came, two were tested positive to coronavirus in quarantine few days later.

They cases were later confirmed to be Delta variant type.

They are still being monitored closely and tested at the Isolation Ward. They will be released once recovered and given health clearance.

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