Vanuatu Police Commissioner suspended

Colonel Robson Iavro

Vanuatu’s Commissioner of Police, Colonel Robson Iavro, has been suspended with effect from Monday, 29 May 2023.

President of the Republic of Vanuatu, Nikenike Vurobaravu, signed the instrument of suspension, exercising his powers under subsection 7A (1) of the Police Act [CAP 105], and section 21 of the Interpretation Act [CAP 132]. 

President Vurobaravu also signed the instrument of appointment of Astrophile Mwele as Acting Commissioner of Police (COMPOL) on the same date. 

This was done on the advice of the Police Service Commission and after consultation with the Minister of Internal Affairs as Minister responsible for the VPF. 

COMPOL Iavro is off duty until such time the suspension is revoked. 

The disciplinary measure followed an incident involving Iavro at Casino 21 earlier this month, as reported by the Daily Post in a front-page article titled, “Police Commissioner Threatens Tourists”. 

The incident occurred on a Saturday night, during which Iavro was reportedly drunk, disorderly, verbally abusive and made threats against three expatriate tourists. 

This resulted in him being removed and banned from re-entering Casino 21 premises for two years. 

At that time, in view of his position in the Vanuatu Police Force hierarchy, no further action was taken by the Casino other than a complaint sent to the Government and Ombudsman’s office confirming the COMPOL’s exclusion and reason.