Koror, Palau – On Thursday, June 6, 2019, Mr. Clifton Soalablai, a Lieutenant and Officer in Charge of Executive Security Detail for President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., and Ms. Margie Ngirmidol, an Administrative Officer II with the Bureau of Public Safety, were arrested and arraigned on charges of theft of government property and money laundering. Mr. Clifton Soalablai was also charged with Misconduct in Public Office, a violation of the Ethics Code.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor, Republic of Palau, filed an information against the couple charging the pair with stealing more than $50,000 from the National Treasury of Palau by way of an altered government check deposit, then withdrawing several thousand dollars using the stolen funds for their own purposes. Theft of government funds in excess of $20,000 and money laundering are each Class A felonies. The Ethics Code violation is a Class B felony. If convicted, the defendants could face up to 25 years imprisonment for each Class A felony and 10 years imprisonment for the Class B felony.
April Dawn Cripps, Special Prosecutor for the Republic of Palau, made the announcement and will be prosecuting the case with support from Jacob Gordin, Assistant Special Prosecutor.
NOTE: A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.