Police queried over suspected log export

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Logging in Solomon Islands. Photo supplied
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

ORION Limited Managing Director, Chan Chee Min is questioning the integrity of police after no answers and actions were taken since Bulacan International Limited exported 7,000 cubic metres of logs in South Choiseul onboard MV Ocean Star in 2018.

Bulacan is own by President of Solomons Forest Association, Jonny Sy, who is currently overseas.

Chan asks these following questions:

1.         Where are the proceeds from the shipment per MV Ocean Star held in virtues of High Court Injunctive Orders on HCCC 496 of 2016 and HCCC 246 of 2018?

2.         It was understood that the proceeds held in virtues of HCCC 496 of 2016 and HCCC 246 of 2018 was released by “Consent Order”.

3.         Kubobangara Customary Land Trustees Board, Kubongava Customary Land Trustees Board and Billy Qaqara Tudubatu is the Applicant/Claimant, is not aware and not a signatory to the said “Consent Order”.

He raised these questions in order to expose the corruption allegedly practised by Commissioner of Forest and Bulacan, a member of SFA.

Chan said on November 14, 2011, Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries (SI) Company Limited held Timber Rights Acquisition over Subavalu Customary Land.

He said there was objections to the Choiseul Province Executives determinations.

“The Western Customary Land Appeal Court sat and Judgment was delivered on Western CLAC No. 03, 04 and o5 of 2012.

“In the Judgment, one of the orders, quote “The determination made by the Choiseul Provincial Executives on 14 November 2011 is set aside,” he said.

Chan asked if Ministry of Forestry and Research can shed light on how and why Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries (SI) Company Limited was issued with Felling Licence A10820 when the Western Customary Land Appeal Court has set aside the determination of the Choiseul Province Executives.

As a result, Chan said Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries (SI) Company Limited and its contractor Metro Team landed logging equipment and entered Kubobangara Customary Land and Kubongava Customary Land with an illegal Felling License A10820, fraudulently obtained.

This was in defiance of Billy Qaqara Tudubatu, Secretary to the Kububangara Customary Land Trustees Board, who has obtained from the High Court of Solomon Islands an Injunctive Orders in HCCC 496 or 2016.

Furthermore, Chan alleged that Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries (SI) Company Limited in conjunction with ES Suba Enterprises Limited, acquired a Grant of Profit over lot 32 (adjoining to Subavalu Customary Land) fraudulently and felling license Number A101639 was issued.

However, he said relations between ES Suba Enterprises Limited and Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries (SI) Company Limited turned sour.

Chan said ES Suba Enterprises Limited terminated their arrangement with Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries (SI) Company Limited and entered into a new arrangement with FR Resources and its financial backers (Glengrow (SI) Limited).

He said they continued their logging operations in defiant of the High Court Injunctive Orders on HCCC 496 of 2016.

Chan said Tudubatu, Secretary to the Kubongava Customary Land Trustees Board again has obtained another Injunctive Orders from the High Court of Solomon Islands in HCCC 246 of 2018.

Meanwhile, FR Resources entered into deals to acquire PWP Limited, a SFA membership company.

FR resources acquired PWP Limited, to continue their logging operations and exporting logs in defiance of High Court Injunctive Orders on HCCC, 496 of 2016 and HCCC 246 of 2018.

He said on November 30, 2018, the Commissioner of Forest issued a Seizure Order on ES Suba Enterprises Limited and a Sale Order to Bulacan International Limited.

He said a shipment of 7,000 cubic metres was exported under FD#1047/2018 dated 07 December 2018 per MV Ocean Star.

Moreover, Subavalu Community Investment Limited was issued a Felling Licence Number A101851 covering Subavalu Customary Land.

This is the same Subavalu Customary Land under felling Licence Number A10820, held by Bulacan Integrated Wood Industries (SI) Company Limited) without going through the Timbers Rights Acquisition procedures.

Chan said PWP Limited is currently operating and exporting round logs under the Felling License of Subavalu Community Investment Limited, Felling License Number A101851

He said Solomon Forest Association, its president, executive and member continued with their unorthodox practices.

Chan said that Orion Limited, Kubobangara Customary Land Trustees Board, and Kubongava Customary Land Trustees Board has reported these matters to the Royal Solomon Islands Police, Fraud Squad and even JANUS as they believe that Forestry Officer/s and certain Choiseul Provincial Executives are responsible.

“Sadly, to date, we did not hear any action taken.

“Can it be true that the SFA tentacles has a hold on Solomon Islands governance?” he asked.

Police Media said when outcomes are not available show the investigation is pending.

“It is not easy to investigate cases dealing with transaction and high profile cases.

“Investigators will need time to collect all information before proceeding with it,” Police Media said.


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