The head of the Vanuatu Investment Promotions Authority says it must protect local entrepreneurs from wealthy foreigners who want to get involved in kava operations.
Smith Tebu says the Authority has received a number of reports about foreigners running kava businesses in Port Villa.
He says three companies have been found breaching Reserved Investments laws and will be fined and asked to cease operations.
Mr Tebu says the Authority encourages foreign investors to get behind large-scale ventures which locals can't afford to, whereas the kava industry is reserved for ni-Vanuatu who don't have many business opportunities.
"VAN KAVA TP 19"
The kava business is more like an opportunity or chance given to ni-Vanuatu to operate within so to allow foreigners to interfere in this business would automatically do away with local businessmen who are trying their best to operate within this kava industry.
The Vanuatu Investment Promotions Authority CEO, Smith Tebu.