By Alfred Sasako
THE Magistrates Court has issued about eight search warrants to JANUS, the crack anti-corruption unit, to help it burrow through mountains of corruption allegations against officials and politicians.
These warrants were sought and received by Police about two months ago, sources told Island Sun.
At least three politicians are included in the search warrants.
Faced with the daunting task of tracing money trails, JANUS has sought and received search warrant approvals to enable it examine bank accounts details, business dealings and other aspects of interest to JANUS investigators.
“The search warrants have been issued. They were issued about two months ago,” those close to the investigations, say.
“These warrants would help JANUS access bank account details for example, something that would not be accessible in normal circumstances” one source familiar with the process, said.
It is not clear how many of the warrants JANUS has executed.
On Monday Island Sun sought confirmation from the Criminal Investigation Unit (major crimes) but no response was received.
One of the difficulties faced by JANUS investigators in establishing money trails is the lack of forensic auditors in the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF). Because JANUS’ work concentrates on alleged misuse of public funds, tracing the money trails contribute to delays in gathering evidence to support prosecution in court.
It is not clear whether Police Commissioner, Mathew Varley, has or will be seeking external assistance in the area of forensic auditing. Observers pointed out that the fact that Commissioner Varley’s engagement is a private arrangement between Honiara and Canberra, there is little hope he would go after those who endorsed his appointment.