This would be an investment well in excess of “$500 million
and would provide employment for
thousands of Fijians when completed,”
the people were told.
You have heard of the $300 million Casino scam – after all the hype, the promises of thousands of jobs, upmarket convention centre and tourism boost, the grand ground breaking ceremony conducted by the PM himself – it all came to nought. Nothing eventualised, the project is now an added feather in the scam cap of the regime!
Now read about another somewhat bigger scam – this time a $500 million satellite city development with state of the art commercial, residential and entertainment centre in the heart of Suva. This is also up in the air, 3½ years after a grand agreement signing ritual between Bainimarama and the developers of the project.
We call it the Raiwaqa scam and relate the story in two parts.
Curious Suva residents have been wondering for months now about the goings on behind the rather large corrugated iron enclosure next to the Garden city complex in Raiwaqa.
Some 3½ years back, this rather large piece of tiri land was fenced off with the announcement that a Chinese company was to build a self-contained satellite city on the site.
“This would be an investment well in excess of $500 million and would provide employment for thousands of Fijians when completed,” the people were told.
Suva was now to have its own Chinatown, with an upmarket residential complex, parks and gardens and a state of the art commercial, shopping and entertainment centre.
A private company called Gold Century Group Company (Fiji) Ltd was incorporated on 31 August 2011 with the following listed as its directors:
Shi Yubao Chinese National
Shi Yuho Chinese National
Zhao Fugang Fiji citizen
The share capital of the company, according to its Memorandum of Agreement, is set at $10 million but the subscribed capital is just $100 taken up by the three directors. The Company’s MOA restricts its shareholding to 50 members- and places the issuance of shares under the control of its directors.
The listed objects of the company are inconceivably wide, permitting it to engage in almost any business activity one can imagine.
Our enquiries with the Lands Depart disclosed that a development lease over 17 acres of State land had been issued to the Gold Century Group under instructions, from the Prime Minister’s Office. The satellite city project was to take shape on this site.
Our request for a copy of the development lease was politely refused with the explanation that “it is a highly sensitive issue and we are not permitted to disclose details to outsiders”.
We received similar responses from the Suva City Council (SCC) to our questions regarding rezoning, and construction and engineering designs for the proposed development, noting that the subject land is foreshore tiri land requiring a number of processes, including an environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be undertaken before approval can be considered.