The Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP) Executives has expressed disappointment over the government’s immediate action to order the deportation of an asian businessman without any indication for a proper judicial trial in the Solomon Islands' courts.'
President Dr. Alice Pollard made this call after the Solomon Star published a front page news article earlier this week confirming that Zhang Tong Zhi, an Asian Businessman and the Manager of the Heizhen Trading was arrested and served with a deportation order.
Mr Zhang Tong Zhi is understood to be currently in custody awaiting his appeal against the deportation order.
Dr Alice Pollard said Mr Zhang Tong Zhi possesses some crucial information that could assist the Police and other responsible authorities in getting more insights into the alleged beche-de-mer ring deals.
The SIDP understands that Mr Zhang has walked away free on two occasions in the past despite being arrested for similar offences of illegal trading of beche de-mer and therefore, his sudden arrest and deportation order has raised questions.
“We cannot rule out the indication that some politicians had links with Mr Zhang Tong Zi.”
Dr. Alice Pollard said that, the public must understand that the trail of these fraudulent businessmen and their political associates can be a complex puzzle to unravel as they are mostly done discretely to avoid trail of evidence and that in most cases payments are done through hard cash rather than cheques in order to avoid possible detection.
“This means that the only way forward is to get a lead from Mr Zhang Tong Zhi.”
Dr Pollard said that the SIDP understands that Mr. Zhang has all the crucial testimonies that can provide crucial clues and insights into the dark side of the beche-de-mer industry in the country.
However, the SIDP President said that such immediate decision taken by the government to deport the Manager of Heizhen Trading Company, Mr Zhang Tong Zhi is very suspicious and it is seen by the Party as a political ploy to avoid further evidence that might unveil the dark side of the beche-de-mer saga.
Dr. Alice Pollard said that such action by the government is not in the best interest of the country and the proper way forward to cleaning up the dirt surrounding the beche-de-mer issue is to have Mr. Zhang Tong Zhi to face proper judicial trial in the Solomon Island courts in order to prove his innocence and that of his close associates.
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