Sources close to the Prime Minister’s Office said the ban was lifted to allow large stock-piles of illegally-harvested beach-de-mers to be sold.
“It does not make sense to lift the ban for only three months,” one source said.
“The real intention behind the decision is to allow for large stock-piles of illegally harvested beach-de-mers that were hidden at various locations, to be sold.
“And some senior politicians who were part of the illegal harvest were behind this,” another source said.
Sources also questioned how and why potential exporters were only give a day or two to apply for an export licence.
“This all looked pre-determined,” said one source.
Some islanders of Ontong Java in the Malaita Outer Islands said a large stockpile of illegally harvested beach-de-mer was stored on the island.
There were also reports of this in Malaita and Temotu.
Meanwhile, owner of Lili’s Clothing, an Asian who also used to buy and export beach-de-mer, denied claims he has a large stock at his residence at Lengakiki.
He said the stock he used to keep have been removed after police raided his home in 2011.
The Asian confirmed he had applied to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources for a licence to export beach-de-mer.
By Elliot Dawea
|< Prev||Next >|