LOGGER FACE CONSEQUENCES

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Logging in Solomon Islands. Photo supplied
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Sino FID certificate cancelled

By EDDIE OSIFELO

MALAYSIAN logger Sino Capital Solomon Islands Ltd have found themselves again at the receiving end of the law.

After Guadalcanal Province cancelled their business licence last year, and accused them of operating illegally in the province since 2009, the logging company now faces the prospect of closing down its entire operation across the country.

This was after the Foreign Investment Division (FID) issued Sino a notice to cancel their foreign investment registration certificate because of alleged breaches the company had committed.

Registrar of Foreign Investment Lynette daWheya outlined the breaches in the show-cause notice she wrote to the logging company on 6 May 2021.

These include:

  1. SINO has failed to comply to the 15 Annual Survey Notifications reminders issued to the company in 2017 – January, February, March; 2018 – January, February, March; 2019 – January, February, March, 2020 – January, February, March; 2021 – January, February, March.
  2. The company failed to respond or redress the breaches stated in the Show cause notice issued against the company in January 2021 for violations of approvals following the Business Monitoring Joint Agencies Committee (BMJAC) compliance inspections on Guadalcanal Province and Vanikoro – Temotu Province 30 November 2020 – January 2021.
  3. The company has failed to comply with its foreign approval conditions as stated below:
  4. By operating a reserved business activity – a canteen less than 200 square meters on Aola site.
  5. That they have failed to notify Registrar on Tax registrations, obligations and remittances;
  6. That they have failed to notify the Registrar on NPF Registrations, obligations and remittances; there have been inconsistencies in paying SINO Capital SI Ltd employee’s contributions to the SINPF;
  7. Failed to pay for relevant Provincial Business Licences for Aola Camp for years 2004-2021, Guadalcanal Province for total of $5.1 million. Failed to pay for relevant Provincial Business License for Vanikoro, Temotu Province, from 2016-2021 totaling $1,500.00
  8. Failed to pay for relevant resource owners at Guadalcanal Province.
  9. Failed to pay for relevant Resource owners at Vanikoro, Temotu Province.
  10. Failed to pay the penalty issued against the company, $125,000 for non-compliance as per the FI Act 2005 as amended 2009, section 29 (C) (I). Guadalcanal Province.
  11. Failed to pay the penalty issued against the company, $125,000 for non-compliance as per the FI Act 2005 as amended 2009, section 29 (C) (I). Temotu Province.
  12.  

deWheya told Sino that if they wish not to have their certificate of registration cancelled, they must present to her office in written form within 10 working days as of the date her letter, reasons why their certificate should not be cancelled.

Island Sun understands the 10-day notice has lapsed.

When contacted, Sino lawyer Wilson Rano told the Island Sun he has appealed against deWheya’s letter to the Minister of Commerce.

He further claimed the minister has directed FID to withdraw the letter.


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