BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
Two Isabel men convicted of stealing 36 water tanks belonging to the Rural Water Supplies and Sanitation Hygiene in 2017 have been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea, in handing out the verdict yesterday, said such offending must not be tolerated in the society and that the judgement must have a deterrent factor.
Iomea said one of the accused, Hilly Manasseh, was an insider who worked for the Island Tanks prior to the offending, and knew about the water tanks paid by RWSSH and left uncollected, and was involved in the sale of the water tanks which he got commissions from.
Wilson Innie Hiro and Mr Manasseh faced 28 counts of simple larceny and were found guilty after a trial was conducted in the Honiara Magistrate Court.
Iomea however after considering all the circumstance of the case sentenced the men for two years on each count (from count-one to count-28), but imposed an order that the sentences to be served concurrently – thus the two men will only serve two years in jail.
The two men were found guilty by the court for collecting 36 water tanks on different dates from Island Tanks Ltd and selling them to other people.
The court heard during the trial that in April 2016, two payments totaling up to $194,600 were made for two projects, one for Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) and the other for Renbel.
It was also heard that the two payments, $99,340 for the GPPOL Project and $95,260 for the Kanaba project in Renbel were paid to Island Tanks.
Those tanks were however never delivered to the Rural Water Supplies and Sanitation Hygiene (RWASH)/Ministry of Health and Medical Services warehouse.
Public Solicitor’s lawyers Rodney Manebosa and Daniel Kwalai represent the two accused while the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions appears for the crown.