Gov’t backs Malaysian logger to export illegally-cut Tubi


A Malaysian logging company, Sunrise Investments Limited has exported more than 10,000 cubic meters of Xanthostemon logs (tubi) from Korona, San Jorge, Isabel province.

This is despite the Korona tubi issue is still pending for Judicial Review in the High Court.

The landowners of Korona have described the export as ‘fraud’ and ‘broad daylight corruption’, allegedly backed by Attorney General Office, Solicitor General Savenaca Banuve, Director of Environment Joe Horokou, Commissioner of Forest Reeves Moveni, to allow Sunrise to export the logs on 6th November 2022.

The landowners were convinced after they cited the Bills of lading, that shows Sunrise Investments Ltd exported 5,000 cubic meters of tubi trees to the buyer, Karridale PTD, Ltd in China.

Sunrise Investments Ltd got around $4.9 million, the Free on Board (FOB) value of the logs, through a Letter of Credit from Pan Oceanic Bank, on the export.

The Bill of lading document also shows the shipping vessel, MV Victoria Voy loaded the tubi logs at Lelegia.

Lelegia is another log pond, about six kilometers across the pristine Thousand Ships Bay on the mainland of Isabel.

It has also kept huge stockpile of Tubi trees.

Mas Solo Investment Ltd, another Malaysian logger, holds the lease over the area.

The Korona landowners said the tubi issue is still pending for Judicial Review, while the Solicitor General, allegedly unlawfully ordered Director of Environment to issue export permit to Sunrise Investments Ltd.

They said Sunrise Investments Ltd owner, Richard Song Sing Ngea did plead guilty last December to a criminal case the Solomon Islands Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) filed on instructions from the Ministry of Environment, accusing the company of illegally harvesting Tubi trees.

Ngea was fined SBD$50,000 (USD$6,232), the maximum penalty for such an offence.

But the company’s license has not been cancelled so it can resume operations if it wishes.

The Korona landowners are calling on appropriate authorities to intervene and investigate this matter in order to get ride off corrupt practice within the ministries and Attorney General office.

“Who do we trust here?” one of the Korona landowners asked.

Comments are being sought from Banuve, Horokau and Moveni.

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