Cook Islands Police Service have suspended staff who are under investigation for alleged financial misconduct.
Spokesperson Trevor Pitt confirmed investigators have conducted a probe into the Police Service’s administrative finances over recent weeks, leading to the suspension of staff.
The Finance and Administration division has been stood down by Police Commissioner Maara Tetava while the investigation proceeds, Pitt added.
Police Commissioner Tetava yesterday said one of the suspended staff had submitted their resignation which he had accepted.
He ensured openness and transparency throughout the inquiry.
“No one is more disheartened than I am, as any internal investigation reflects on all police officers and civilian members of the Cook Islands Police Service, as they are subjected to higher scrutiny by the systems, we have in place to manage all aspects of integrity,” Commissioner Tetava said.
“I want to ensure openness and transparency. I can say that the investigation is ongoing and the team under investigation has been stood down, with one submitting a resignation, which I have accepted.”
Commissioner Tetava is asking public not to speculate as this could impact their ongoing investigation into this matter.
“The main reason for my release is to stop speculation and condemnation and to ensure those being investigated are afforded the same legal rights as any citizen of this nation,” he said.
“I ask for fairness in all aspects of this matter as any unfair commentary could impact on the investigation and any possible legal action.”
Trevor Pitt said the Commissioner expects this investigation to be concluded shortly.
Pitt said the Commissioner has also confirmed “any further action will be taken where appropriate”.
“All staff (suspended) are non-sworn and their duties have been covered by other personnel.”
Pitt said the investigators looking into this matter include police officers but assistance “may have been sought from another agency”.