5 Oct 2006

Fiji lands board claims conspiracy at centre of gay resort controversy

10:34 am on 5 October 2006

Fiji's Native Lands Trust Board says reports about the development of a gay resort in the Yasawa Group were a conspiracy by five individuals to discredit its officials and the existing lease holder of the property.

The NLTB's general manager, Kalivati Bakani, says the five involved in the bogus scheme used high level technology to manipulate email addresses and websites to mislead the media.

He says it was aimed at putting pressure on the Board to cancel the lease of the resort.

The Fiji Sun newspaper reports that New Zealand private investigators have identified the five men, one of whom is a known international conman who has spent time in jails in Britain, Australia and the United States but now lives in Fiji.

Mr Bakani says their actions are criminal in nature and the board has lodged a complaint with the Fiji police to investigate the smear campaign and bring the five to justice.

He says investigations into NLTB officials alleged to have been involved in this fraudulent activity have been completed and they have been cleared of any wrongdoing.