BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
A POLICE exhibit officer has been suspended after more than $300,000 of cash exhibit kept in their custody went missing.
Commissioner of Police Mostyn Mangau revealed this yesterday, although the incident is believed to have occurred October last year.
“I am very upset at the action of one of our officers,” Mangau told reporters during his weekly press conference.
“Such behaviour and attitude will tarnish the integrity and trust the community placed on the police,” he added.
The money in question were seized from the director of One-Link Pacifica, an illegal pyramid scheme, early last year.
Thousands of Solomon Islands invested their money in the scheme in anticipation of high returns.
But when their promised returns were not paid, they reported the case to police, who acted and seized a huge amount of cash from the director.
Mangau said this is the first time a large amount of cash of cash was stolen from their exhibit storage.
He said the matter is now with the Professional Standard Internal Investigation.
“An exhibit officer has been suspended while investigations are underway.
“I am taking this matter seriously and condemned the action by the particular officer.
Mangau said the exhibit cash was transferred from the Honiara Central exhibit storage to the Rove exhibit facility for safe storage when they realized in October last year that the whole amount of money had gone missing.
As a result of this case, he said he said they would be reviewing and re-look into their standard operating procedures to fully secure exhibits collected as evidence during investigations.
Mangau said this case is a priority investigation and he himself will wait on the PSII to quickly progress the matter, as it is of public interest.
He said it would be a thorough investigation, looking at all avenues how the money went missing or stolen from the exhibit facility and will also look at possible recovery of the missing cash.
Last May when the media queried whether the large amount of cash confiscated from the director of One Link is safe, Mangau gave assurance that the cash has been safely kept at their Rove exhibit facility.
Island Sun was informed police only knew of the missing cash when they were cross-checking the exhibits last October at the Rove facility.
When the suspended officer was queried about the missing cash exhibits, he started avoiding questions put to him.