LOOP PNG | 19 July, 2017
The Solomon Islands opposition says it has obtained video footage of a secret meeting between the minister of mines and energy and a controversial foreign miner in a hotel carpark.
The video in question was also published on the youtube account Delton Teorongo with the description,“Is this how the new Solomon Islands Minerals Policy is going to be administered?”
The meeting is said to have taken place late on the night of April 21 at the Heritage Hotel.
The footage shows the minister, David Day Pacha’s vehicle, an SUV with registered plate number G- 3903, arriving at the carpark around 10:40pm.
A few minutes later, a man believed to be the chairman of Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID), Ray Set Fah Chu, was seen walking down the stairs and into the minister’s vehicle.
The car park meeting lasted for around 10 minutes before the man was seen exiting the car and going back inside the hotel.
In a statement, the opposition said it strongly denounced the meeting and called on the minister to explain why he met Mr Chu.
It said the meeting was highly suspicious as two months earlier the prime minister and the mines minister were caught in a text message exchange with the same miner.
The leaked text messages showed the prime minister granting zero duty to Bintan Mining Company, a subsidiary of APID, to export bauxite from West Rennell.