Whiteside given the boot by Wong

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By Alfred Sasako

JOHN Whiteside, the man who held the fort while RIPEL boss, Patrick Wong was barred from the county, was given the boot yesterday, Immigration sources said last night.

A copy of Mr Whiteside’s dismissal letter, signed by Mr Wong, was given to Immigration officials signalling that his deportation might be in the offing.

The government has waived Wong’s persona non-gratta status, allowing him to re-enter Solomon Islands.

He was seen in the precinct of The Heritage Park Hotel in the last few days.

Sources said Whiteside was given six days to show cause why he should not be sacked.

He has been living illegally in Solomon Islands since he lost his case against the Director of Immigration last June.

“In that time he has not bothered to apply for a work permit and a residence permit,” one official said.

The official said if Whiteside failed to respond, he could face deportation within the next few days.

His removal suggests the RIPEL saga may have entered a new phase.

Wong yesterday met with Russell Islands’ landowners in Honiara but the outcome of the meeting is not known.