Thursday, 6 January 2011 1:04 PM

TSI Deeply Concerned over Ministry's Handling of Beche-de-mer Case

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) says it is deeply concerned by recent allegations of illegal Beche-de-mer harvesting and trading by Haizhen Trading.

"The referral of this matter to Cabinet is an abuse of process.The correct process for this matter is referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions and for the matter to be determined in a court of law."

"The permit of this company should have been revoked and their harvest of Beche-de-mer confiscated," TSI said in a statement.

TSI stated that the Ministry has failed to take appropriate action in the face of a foreign business flagrantly disregarding Solomon Islands law.

"The then Acting Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources has used his position of power to assist a business to continue breaking Solomon Islands law and continue depleting a protected marine resource to the detriment of Solomon Islands," TSI said.

It must be asked, "What motivation the then Acting Minister has to act against the best interests of Solomon Islands and in favour of a foreign company?"

TSI stated that the issue must not be swept under the carpet. TSI calls for due process to be followed in this matter, by referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions for investigation and prosecution.

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