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Beche-de-mer stock confiscated

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AN unknown consignment of containers loaded beche-de-mer ready for export have been held up last night by police officers from the CID unit before loading for exports.

The reasons for the holding up the containers could not be verified by the paper.

Solomon Star was at the scene and requested access into the ports authority to verify the confiscated containers but were denied entry by ports security officers.

However, an insider told this paper that he personally saw and deal with that beche-de-mer containers but knew little of the reason why it’s being held up.

He also confirmed the confiscation of the consignments and the presence of CID officers at the scene.

Ports security officers last night also confirmed CID officers were at the scene which was also witnessed by this paper.

Interestingly, the minister of foreign affairs Clay Forau was spotted by this paper last night at the scene in an unknown vehicle.

The minister was sought for comments to explain why he was at the scene but declined.

Instead he relayed through his driver that its better to speak to the Asians who were also at the ports authority main entrance.

The driver who is also a police officer told this paper that he knew nothing about anything that happened but only realizes it at the scene when confronted by this paper.

He also confirmed the presence of CID officers, but when this paper made attempts to talk to the CID officers they also avoided the Solomon Star.

Minister Forau when contacted again late last night for comments said he was there only to find out what had happened.

“I was there to hear what the story was, I will call you back later I am still driving.”   

But a spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) told Solomon Star last night that the presence of the minister of foreign affairs at the scene last night was under the direction from PMO’s office.

He said PMO has to intervene and confiscate the consignments due to reasons that companies responsible have allegedly made false declaration documents that were undervalued.

“Letters have been forwarded to the ministry of fisheries including Customs and Exercise regarding the beche-de-mer containers that were confiscated.

“Until the beche-de-mer containers are properly valued with proper declaration documents the containers will not be exported.”

Solomon Star could not verify the number of containers confiscated however it was claimed that the containers belongs to four separate companies who have been issued with licenses to buy beche-de-mer locally to export them overseas.

However the containers are likely to be exported after a permit for export was produced late last night, the insider told Solomon Star.

By Bradford Theonomi and Ben Rakai