4 Mar 2006

UN denies any link to US$3.5bn purported lender for Fiji bank

9:14 am on 4 March 2006

The United Nations has denied any link to a foreign organisation offering US$3.5 billionto set up a bank for indigenous Fijians.

The so-called Office of International Treasury Control, and its Chief of Cabinet, Dr Keith Scott, have claimed at a chiefs' meeting in Fiji that they are registered under a UN charter at level five security.

But the resident representative of the United Nations in the South Pacific, Richard Dictus, has told Fiji TV the organisation has no links with the United Nations or any affiliate body, and there is no such security system as claimed.

Fiji's prime minister Laisenia Qarase, himself a former bank managing director, says he is very concerned because he does not think anyone in his right mind would want to give out that kind of money without strict conditions.

Mr Qarase says the organisation is raising the expectations of a lot of people and could leave them hurt and disappointed.

Fiji police have sought the help of the international police organisation INTERPOL to investigate the Office of International Treasury Control and its representative, Dr Scott.