In brief: Pacific news
In Solomon Islands, one person died after WWII bomb explosion
Solomon Islands Police said one person was dead and another was in critical condition after a World War II bomb that they tampered with was exploded.
Police Inspector Tunuki said the explosive ordnance disposal team was the first to arrive at the scene in Tenaru.
He said the team found tools the couple used on the bomb and several other unexploded ordnance they unearthed.
Mr Tunuki said if people find bombs in their area, they should report it to the explosive ordnance disposal team.
While Solomon Islands experiences some of the most intense conflicts of WWII, the country remains littered with bombs, with hidden ammunition a continuing threat across the country.
Samoa’s deputy electoral commissioner faces drug charges
Samoan police have confirmed the arrest of the deputy electoral commissioner following a drug raid on his home.
Faumui Daryl Mapu was arrested on Tuesday along with a 29-year-old employee of the electoral commission office.
At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Acting Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Keti confirmed the couple’s arrest, adding that they had been charged with possession of narcotics.
Four illegal pistols, including a revolver, two rifles, $ 2,900 tālā in cash, methamphetamine and several laptops were confiscated during the raid.
Faumui has worked in the Election Commission Office for 17 years. Police say his home has been under surveillance for some time now.
He and his alleged accomplice will both appear in court next month.
Vanuatu Suspends Relations With South Australian Recruitment Company
The Vanuatu Department of Labor will temporarily suspend its engagement with a recruiting company in South Australia due to welfare concerns and excessive payroll deductions.
Labor Commissioner Murielle Meltenoven said her ties to South Australian society will be suspended, until these issues are resolved.
“Vanuatu has a long-standing relationship with Australia. However, this neglect of these welfare concerns can tarnish the reputation of the work program and our relationship with Australia,” she said.
She said Vanuatu is providing workers to meet the worker shortage in Australia, with the hope that companies that hire will take care of our workers.
“I believe Vanuatu will take action to trigger disciplinary action from the Australian government against the recruitment company,” said Murielle Meltenoven.
Caledonian officials hope cigarette and tobacco hikes will lead to lower sales
The price of cigarettes and tobacco will increase by 10% per year for three years in New Caledonia after a vote by elected officials.
Electronic cigarettes will also be banned in public places and their sale prohibited to those under the age of 18 in connection with the fight against smoking.
The increase takes effect on January 1, 2022.
The best-selling packet of rolling tobacco, now priced at 1,950 francs (16.38 euros), will drop to 2,150 francs (18 euros) on January 1, 2022, at
2,350 (19 euros) francs in 2023 to reach 2,600 francs (21.8 euros) in 2024.
It is hoped that the price increase will lead to a decrease of 2% per year in the number of smokers.
In 2019, after a 24% increase in the price of tobacco, the sale of cigarettes fell by 4%, the government said.
Virgin Australia wants to resume Australia-Samoa route
Virgin Australia is set to spread its wings again in Samoan skies despite uncertainties caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
the Samoa Observer reports that the director general of the Ministry of Transport, Magele Hoe Viali, has confirmed that the airline has recently applied for the renewal of its license.
Magele said the airline has always operated flights between Australia and Samoa but has shut down following the coronavirus and the closure of borders around the world.
He said the airline had requested the reissue of an air service license to operate Australia-Samoa-Australia flights, but could not start due to Samoa’s border restrictions.
Former Rewa Football Association president has died
Former president of the Rewa Football Association and life member, Mumtaz Ali has passed away.
Fiji Football Association President Rajesh Patel said Ali’s death was a huge loss to the football fraternity in the country.
Patel said Ali was a great leader and footballer in his day.
He has contributed a lot to the growth of the sport in Nausori, Tailevu and Naitasiri.
Ali continued to work his craft guiding existing Rewa football executives to lead a team that has recently found its shape.
New Board of Directors for Pacific Island Food Show
The Pacific Island Food Revolution has a new board of directors.
Founder, Executive Director, International Chef and Award-Winning Author Robert Oliver serves as President.
Other members include University of Auckland Associate Dean for the Pacific and Professor of Public Health Dr Colin Tukuitonga, Fijian businesswoman and former accountant Jenny Seeto, and Director of Pacific Studies at the ‘University of Canterbury, Dr Steven Ratuva.