$32M FINE

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Court orders former RIPEL & LSL associate over unlawful land sales in Lungga

 

By Alfred Sasako

THE High Court has ordered Willem Johan Van Vlymen, a former business associate of Lever Solomons Ltd (LSL) and RIPEL, to pay more than $32 million in default judgement over unauthorised withdrawal of funds and unauthorised sale of land at Lungga in East Honiara.

The judgement was entered by the High Court of Solomon Islands in Honiara on October 16, 2018, according to court papers obtained by Island Sun

It is understood Mr Vlymen has applied to the High Court to have the judgement set aside.

The ruling stemmed from a case between LSL as first claimant and Russell Islands Plantation Ltd as second claimant with Vlymen as defendant.

In entering the Judgement against the defendant, the Court ordered:

(1)            that judgement in default of defence in terms of the claimants’ claim filed on 17th August 2018 be entered against the Defendant on the terms stipulated under paragraph 1, 2(a) & (b) and 3 of the reliefs claimed and as read with Rule 5.37(a) and (c) of the Solomon Islands Civil Procedure Rules 2007 in that:

(a)            the defendant pay to the claimants the total sum of $SBD32,318,320 for special damages;

(b)            In the alternative to paragraph 1(a) above;

(i)              SBD12,815,589 for unauthorised withdrawal of monies belonging to the First and Second claimants; and

(ii)            SBD19,502,731 for unauthorised disposal of lands belonging to the first claimant.

The High Court also granted a five (5) percent interest on the SBD32,318,320 effective from August 17 this year – the date of filing the claim.

When the Island Sun contacted him yesterday, Patrick Wong said he could not comment as the matter is before the court.

However, Mr Wong clarified that all proper notices were served by lawyers, as far back as mid-2017, and also when Mr Vlymen was present at a Company Board meeting, together with Receiver Manager.

“Till today John Whiteside, together with Mr Van Vlymen are withholding documents and records legally belonging to the company,” he said.

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