Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit Director’s contract terminated

Front row (l-r) Mr. Josiah KUATPEN (Senior Intelligence Officer); Ms. Kirsty TAVOA (Senior Compliance Officer); Mr. Floyd Ray MERA (Director); Mr. Teddy GARAE (Senior Compliance Officer). PHOTO: FIU

The Office of the Attorney General in Vanuatu has confirmed that Floyd Ray Mera’s contract as the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been terminated. 

This follows his suspension on 16 October, 2023. Mera came under investigation after the government, through the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS), established a Commission of Inquiry (COI) in November 2023 to probe allegations against him. 

Allegations of lack of due diligence in citizenship applications and biased clearance were among the reasons cited for the investigation when MoJCS Minister John Amos appointed the COI members. 

Minister Amos received preliminary reports from the COI in December 2023. In mid-January this year, the Justice Minister presented a report detailing suspicious criminal activities uncovered during the COI to Finance Minister John Salong. 

Later the same month, Minister Salong fulfilled the Council of Ministers’ (COM) mandate to file a police report against the FIU Director to the Police Commissioner on behalf of the government. 

Josiah Kuatpen is now the Acting Director of the FIU.