3 Mar 2006

Fiji probes entry of backer of proposed bank for indigenous Fijians

2:20 pm on 3 March 2006

The Fiji government is trying to establish how the man behind a proposed new 3.5 billion US dollar bank for Indigenous Fijians was able to slip into the country.

Dr Keith Scott, of an organisation describing itself as the Office of International Treasury Control, is offering to finance the bank with overseas money.

The Home Affairs and Immigration Minister, Josefa Vosanibola, says he has asked immigration officials and police to investigate Dr Scott and his organisation.

"While I appreciate the need to encourage investors to come to Fiji, I am concerned with the big amount of 6 billion dollars. As a government we should look after the interests of our people and we were not briefed about this being here."

He says anyone wanting to business in Fiji has to seek the permission of the Fiji Trade Investment Bureau.

And he says the Reserve Bank and the Native Lands Trust Board should also have been informed, because any land transaction has to be referred to it for approval.