3 Mar 2006

Fiji officials waiting central bank verdict on US$3.5bn foreign lender

9:20 am on 3 March 2006

Fiji's 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 organisation describing 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 organisation's Chief of Cabinet, Dr Keith Scott, met with he 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.

Fiji's home affairs minister, Josefa Vosanibola, has ordered immigration and police to investigate Dr Scott and his organisation.