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Background check of foreign investors a concern: Ratu Naiqama

March 25, 2019 4:56 pm
Permanent Secretary for Lands Makalaki Finau [left]

Public Accounts Committee member Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has questioned the Lands Ministry as to why there is no specialized department to do background checks on foreign investors.

Ratu Naiqama raised concerns after Permanent Secretary for Lands Makalaki Finau, clarified they rely on information provided by Investment Fiji regarding international investments.

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While making their submission to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, Finau says proper screening of investors is done by TLTB and Investment Fiji.

“We liaise with Investment Fiji because that is the first door of entry for investors when they come in to register and check on their financial and etc.”

Ratu Naiqama says this is a major concern as the Ministry is leasing out land in the Land Bank and it is important background checks are done about foreign investors.

“You as a leasing agency now, don’t you feel that it’s prudent to have your check because the interest of all is protected here.”

However, Finau told FBC News they don’t want to duplicate work done by other agencies as it will be a waste of resources.

He says the agencies that are doing a background check for overseas investors are better resourced and they have the expertise to do a thorough check.

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