8 May 2013

Samoa Hotels president says casino to go ahead despite arrest

4:23 am on 8 May 2013

The President of the Samoa Hotels Association, Tuala Oli Ah Him, says a deal to build a casino is safe, despite the arrest of the Chinese businessman in charge of the company involved.

Chinese media report the chairman of the Chengdu Exhibition and Travel Group, Deng Hong, is in custody in China on suspicion of corruption.

Mr Deng's company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Samoa Government last year to build a 500-room resort and casino.

Tuala Oli Ah Him says regardless of the outcome, Samoa will ensure a casino is built.

"As far as I know he is arrested but hasn't been convicted. But I'm sure it's not a problem for us. I am sure there are more other companies that are capable to come on board and implement this dream by our Government."

The President of the Samoa Hotel Authority Tuala Oli Ah Him.

The Samoa Observer reports that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the company will move forward despite any findings against Mr Deng, who has built several exhibition centres and hotels in China.