PAC recommends legal action to recover stolen money

Wednesday July 12, 2017 Written by Published in Local

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) wants the police to take a civil legal case to recover more than $24,000 from a former police officer jailed for stealing money out of a safe at police headquarters.

 

In one of its recommendations after hearing testimony from Police Commissioner Maara Tetava, the committee said the Police Leadership Team should “pursue the path of a civil case to recover reparation costs”.

Reparation had originally been sought after the officer pleaded guilty to theft in 2014, but that had been rejected by Chief Justice Tom Weston.

He instead sentenced her to two years’ imprisonment.

Police were then forced into using public funds to reimburse the sum of $24,670.05 to the business people the money was stolen from.

It was paid out of the police service’s 2012/2013 operating account.

In its report the committee said: “The payment was a necessary, but unfortunate, loss to police operations. Adjustments to the operations and budget were effected in order to maintain the effective delivery of the various outputs for that year.”

And it isn’t just the former policewoman in the committee’s sights.

The Ministry of Justice also owes the Cook Islands Police Service the sum of $9000 in reparation from the former officer’s earlier offending in 2011.

“The payment is long overdue and it is desirable that it be paid up as soon as possible.”

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