PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT
Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
MYSTERIOUS FIJI VISITOR OFFERS $3.5 BILLION DEAL
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 2) Ė Fijiís finance ministry is waiting for feedback from the Reserve Bank on whether the foreign organisation offering US$3.5 billion to set up a bank for indigenous Fijians is legitimate.
The chief executive of the ministry, Paula Uluinaceva, has told Radio Legend no official document has been submitted by the organization, which describes itself as the "Office of International Treasury Control," to prove that it can deliver the amount of money promised.
Mr Uluinaceva says as far as he is aware the Reserve Bank has done some preliminary checks but they will need something formal before they can act on it.
He has confirmed that the man calling himself the organisationís Chief of Cabinet, Dr Keith Scott, met with the finance minister, Ratu Jone Kubuabola, and other senior officials two days ago, but he failed to provide any documentation as he had earlier claimed.
Mr Uluineceva says the finance ministry is concerned about claims of providing such a large sum of money as US$3.5 billion but for the moment they are waiting for the facts before they can act.
Dr Scott has told the meeting of 215 middle level Fijian chiefs that it is their faith and trust in God and his that will bring the money to Fiji and this cannot be stopped by any human being.
Fijiís home affairs minister, Josefa Vosanibola, has ordered immigration and police to investigate Dr Scott and his organisation.
Meanwhile, the mysterious organisation has warned Fiji journalists about reporting negatively on it.
Local man Masi Kaumaitotoya says he is the Fiji representative of the Office of International Treasury Control and its Chief of Cabinet, Dr Keith Scott.
Mr Kaumaitotoya has told journalists to never, ever again report negatively on the organisation and Dr Scott, or they would be sued for so much the biggest insurance company in the world would not be able to pay the damages.
Mr Kaumaitotoya said the organisation "is at level five security classification for an institution chartered under the United Nations" which is, he says, why nothing can be found on it on the Internet.
In response, the Fiji Times has published an open letter to Dr Scott and his Office of International Treasury Control on its front page today urging them to prove, using normal business methods, that they are for real [See letter in todayís PIR].
The Fiji Times says people want hard, commercial facts that they can check and verify because mere words and assurances are not enough.
The newspaper has told Dr Scott and his organisation that if they cannot provide the proof, they should stop before they do any harm.
March 3, 2006
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