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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Tahiti Corruption Probe Leads To New Caledonia Arrests
Businessman allegedly paid union leader to suppress strikes

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 14, 2012) – A major corruption probe involving a top businessman and a leading unionist in French Polynesia has led to the arrest of two people in New Caledonia.

The case centers on claims that regular cash payments were made to buy the social peace.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The secretary general of the confederation of independent unions, Cyril Legayic, wants out of Tahiti’s jail where he was sent last month as investigators are piecing together his dealings with Bill Ravel. The New Caledonian businessman, who is also in detention, is alleged to have paid Mr. Legayic 160,000 U.S. dollars in cash over four years to contain strikes at his companies in Papeete. A search of the computer of Mr. Ravel’s secretary has led to the discovery of a list of alleged recipients of money, including leading politicians who immediately denied any involvement or wrongdoing. Mr. Ravel’s associate, who was arrested in New Caledonia, is to be flown to Tahiti."

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