By Barbara Dreaver, 1News Pacific Correspondent and is republished with permission
A New Zealand economist who has done widespread work around the Pacific has been arrested in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for child trafficking offences.
According to Kaselehlie Press, Rob Solomon was arrested on March 15 and faces two charges of Human Trafficking and three of Trafficking in Children.
Prosecutors allege he lured a minor to his house or apartment and engaged in sexual activities for money.
One of the charges relate to the alleged removal or confinement of the victim.
When Solomon was arrested he was out of jail on bail for similar but unrelated charges that had been filed by Pohnpei State in December.
He goes to trial for those two cases on April 12.
According to Kaselehlie Press, shortly before his March 15 arrest he had been taken in by police but was released after a different alleged victim decided not to testify.
Solomon has done contract work around the Pacific for the New Zealand Government through its aid programmes, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and AusAid.
Additional information by Kaniva News
Solomon was previously employed by a former Tongan government as an economic advisor to former Prime Minister Lord Sevele ‘O Vailahi.
In 2009 Tonga’s Supreme Court ruled that the newspaper, Kele’a, is liable for damages worth 245-thousand US dollars for publishing a letter to the editor which defamed the Prime Minister and Solomon.