NEW HANOVER ISLAND IN NEW IRELAND PROVINCE NOW FOREIGN OWNED


Island of New Hanover sold for K4 million

THE entire Island of New Hanover in New Ireland Province has been sold to foreigners for US$1.6million (K4m) in what has been described as the biggest scandal in the country’s short history.

Documents obtained by Post-Courier clearly give details of the sale, entered between Tutuman Development Ltd (seller) and a Singaporean Company identified as Palma Hacienda Ltd (buyer) in June 2009. The documents are the Sale and Purchase Agreement and a Supplementary Agreement entered between the two parties.

The deal to sell the island by Tutuman Development Limited whose directors include a former premier of the province and the foreign company was done without the consent of any authority from the landowners

Documents show the purchase price was paid into a director‘s personal bank account with the Citibank Singapore Ltd.

Ishmael Passingan, who is the company secretary for Central New Hanover Ltd, a landowner company, confirmed to this paper in an interview yesterday from New Ireland that the landowners became aware of the sale and the matter was reported to police on February 25 this year.

Police contacted confirmed that two days later on Monday February 27, 2011, investigators and detectives from the major organised crime unit detained one of the foreigners involved at the Jackson’s Airport and seized her passport when she was trying to leave the country.

Mr Passingan and the law firm representing the landowners, Titus Lawyers, confirmed Tutuman Development Ltd sold Portion 887C (Central New Hanover) together with Portions 885C (Umbukul) and 886C (Tabut) which make up the whole Island.

Documents also confirmed the former premier was at that time, the chairman of the company when the customary land were sold to the foreign company.

“We are now asking police to act swiftly to prosecute those implicated in the sale of the island and intervention from the National Government and the provincial government to return the birth rights of the people of New Hanover,” Mr Passingan pleaded.

Under the Supplementary Agreement to the Sales and Purchase the buyer was obliged to remunerate the seller an additional amount of $US1,000,000.

A deposit of $US200,000 (K600,000) was paid immediately upon the signing the agreement and the balance of K800,000 within six months from the date the agreement was signed

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